A brief (yet complete) Monday link round-up.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve:

  • traveled to freezing Michigan without more layers than 1 thrift store cashmere sweater (not smart);
  • came up with a seriously half-baked Halloween costume at the last minute (middling smart), and
  • cooked what is arguably the most superb vegetable barley soup on this earth (SMART).

While I wish I’d had more time to find interesting things on the Internet, most of my energy has been focused on work for clients. C’est la vie!Here’s a more organized (than usual) list of things I’ve found recently:

  1. Freemium Access from the New Yorker:  “Never in the history of the modern world has there been a better time to be a cheapskate. All you need is a connection or two—a mother, a father-in-law, a brother, someone else’s brother, some mystery uploader in Estonia—and you’re flush with all the news or moving images or music that you could possibly consume.”
  2. Those of us who think the Pumpkin Spice Latte™ is disgusting are growing in number! Throw some cinnamon in your coffee and get on your way if you’re looking for a real fall flavor fix. That said, I did enjoy this piece from The Awl on the PSL, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and the white ladies that love both of those things.
  3. On advertising and the ‘altar’ of creativity: “Our profession is full of people who mindlessly spew their recipes for brand success, but sadly most of what the poseurs say (and do) is total garbage.”
  4. M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the myth of/nostalgia around French food.
  5. Speaking of the French. Flaubert to Maupassant: “You complain about fucking being ‘monotonous’. There’s a simple remedy: cut it out for a bit.” Well, alright.

Back to the week!

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A new lease/leash on life.

Sometimes you have to check yourself, whether for your privilege or perspective (or both).

Lately I’ve found myself grousing about things that are simultaneously within and outside of my control (time management, budgets, creative ruts). It’s easy to blame a hot summer for mental lethargy, the Internet for procrastination, anyone but yourself for problems that are relatively insignificant … and also, at their essence, solvable. So, it’s crisp in Atlanta: a good season to rediscover optimism, personal accountability, and creative outlets. At the end of the day, I love my job, my work, and the weather.

In short, time to go from this:

to this:

This week I’m alternating between attending this year’s Digital Atlanta and jetting back to our new office. More to follow!

In other news:

 

On Mondays, self-awareness, tzatziki parties, and the Internet.

Another Monday is nearly over — but this one’s different; it’s my last Monday working on the 15th floor of the Equitable building (I can say with all certainty). It’s been a hard year, but a good growth experience. The whole thing could be summarized as “character-building,” but overall, I’ve acquired a new skill set and a few wonderful new friends. I’m thankful for the opportunity and inspired to move on, having become slightly more self-aware, at least in terms of my professional life. I’ve taken this time to learn what I really like doing, what I don’t mind doing, and what I would rather stab myself in the foot than do anymore. The overall goal being, of course, that I’ll end up doing mostly the things I really like doing, with but a smattering of ambivalence (and not much foot-stabbing), for longer than 1-year contracts allow.

I’m looking forward to the next step. With a little bit of luck, my next big adventure will be in a place that celebrates collaborative creativity, hard work, and the desire to grow and be better and never stop learning.

In other news, to break up my navel-gazing about a quarter-life crisis: for the past several weeks, my best friend, boyfriend and I have been holding a “Saturday Night Supper Club” on the porch balcony of my house. This weekend our friend Skyler was visiting from Tampa, and we made a gorgeous spread of fresh vegetables, brie, and lemony tzatziki while listening to my favorite kitchen music. Here’s a slightly grainy picture I took to commemorate the occasion:

I track what we make every weekend with #SaturdayNightSupperClub on Twitter, if you’d like to read about what we eat, or invite yourself to dinner.

What I’ve been reading on the Internet this week:

  • Reinventing Cities With a New Urban Language: I like thinking of ways to characterize Atlanta that would lead someone to say something is “so Atlanta,” a ‘city-turned-adjective,’ according to this piece.
  • Speaking of self-awareness! You know how people always complain about how kids these days don’t know how to have a face-to-face conversation? That type of crotchety remark can be annoying, but holds weight in terms of how we think about (and prioritize) our IRL relationships: “Before we could ever think of being ‘offline,’ we had to know what it meant to be online.
  • You drive cars. You drink espresso. You could do both AT THE SAME TIME. (Before anyone beats me to it, at the same damn time.) Also: I can’t tell if this is a terrible idea or not.
  • “We’re no longer changing the shape of the physical world or even of society. We are altering internal states, transforming the invisible self or its bodily container. Not surprisingly, when you step back and take a broad view, it often looks like stagnation—or decadence”: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as they apply to our current state — an ongoing obsession with the “tools of the self.”  Here’s a handy graphic of author Nicholas Carr’s proposed “hierarchy of innovation”:

If you’re interested in seeing other pieces of the Web I enjoy on a more frequent basis, add me to your Google+ circles.