Sunday Picture Show (Keeping Afloat)

I’d typically be calling this my Photography Friday post, but since I’m two days late, we’re trying something new. This week’s Photo Challenge prompt is to share photos that exemplify what “afloat” means to us, and I’ve taken quite a few lately…

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My workouts at Iron Tribe can be a bit intense, but I love every minute of it. Even better than feeling strong and capable is the fact that a hard workout every day keeps me happy and relaxed. These are the blisters on my right hand after a kettlebell workout earlier this week.

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My Isabel. I love my cats – there’s nothing like having a good cuddle after a hard day, though Izzy isn’t prone to being that affectionate unless it’s bedtime. When I was sick and feeling miserable last week, she came and napped with me on the couch.

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One of my favorite things to do is walk around New Orleans and take photos of the things that capture my attention. Street art never fails to captivate and stir my imagination. I take a lot of photos of cool graffiti around town, but this one struck my fancy last week. Let me find out, indeed.

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Small details help keep me grounded (or afloat, whichever turn of phrase you prefer). I love that looking for little things helps keep me mindful and “in the moment”, and while I’m walking around town, I try to capture these moments in photos if possible. This is a shot I took of water droplets collecting on a newly painted front stoop the other day. I loved how the water was pooling, and was pretty satisfied with the colors of the shot in the end. The stoop was a brilliant shade of teal, but the shadows gave a purple sheen.

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The idea that I’ll be leaving for the Camino in six months is definitely keeping me sane and happy. I walk to and from work (about 2 miles) each day, and on the way to work, I cross over Spain Street. Each time that I notice the street sign, I can’t help but be reminded of how lucky I am, and how amazing it’s going to be to finally get my boots on the ground in Spain this October.

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You, you amazing man. I don’t know how I made it this long without you in my life. You’re everything I’ve been looking for for all this time. Thank you for making me so much stronger, and giving me the strength to realize that I didn’t need a man in my life to be complete – but having the right one could make everything that much sweeter. You make me laugh, you make me think, and you’ve helped me make myself whole. Your encouragement and faith have pushed me to new heights as a person, and I only hope that I can return the favor. I love you.

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Photography Friday: Abstract Orange

I must not take a lot of photos incorporating the color orange in my day-to-day. In general I’m really not a fan of the shade, so wondering if orange things just don’t catch my eye that often (kind of the opposite of how I go gaga over purple objects). Today’s photo challenge asks us to share a photograph that features the color orange, but a brief look through my phone shows almost nothing of use. However, I love this shot that my camera took on its own one day on a trip to the mall, and it’s orange enough, right?

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Photography Friday: Rewards

Today’s photo challenge at the Daily Post is to show what “reward” means to us. It turns out that I’ve taken a few photos over the course of the last few weeks that exemplify the term in various ways. Looking back through them has made me realize how easily I forget the simple pleasures encountered every day. I tend to notice details, and love the little scenes captured on my walks through New Orleans (and elsewhere), but it would be nice to hold on to the feeling of discovering these vignettes in my heart, rather than having to be reminded by looking back over my Instagram page.

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I walk through the French Quarter every day, and often pass a little art gallery full of really cool/creepy art. Every now and then there’s a cat sitting in the window, along with the artwork. Each time I pass, I look for the cat, and when I see her I’m always happy. It feels like a privilege, somehow; she’s so regal.

The other part of the story that makes this an even better reward is that you can’t see it in this photo, but the cat’s other ear is docked at the tip. In New Orleans, when feral cats are part of the catch and release program (where they’re caught, spayed/neutered, then released), they get one ear docked. This tells me that this gorgeous girl was once living on the streets, but has since become the queen of her own art gallery. Pretty sweet rags to riches story.

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I love looking for good new graffiti, no matter what city I’m in. Thus far, my all-time favorite street art has been in Venice, but New Orleans’ scene isn’t too shabby. Our city attracts a lot of outside artists, including WRDSMTH, a Los Angeles-based writer/painter who’s been posting awesome stuff like this typewriter and message around town for awhile. This popped up in my neighborhood, and every time I look at it I end up laughing. So I guess that the reward is two-fold for this photo, as well. First finding it, then getting to laugh over and over.

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This shot was taken on Lundi Gras night (the night before Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday), down by the Mississippi River. I was with friends, just hanging out, and we didn’t know that there were going to be fireworks. This was a great reward for me because I really hadn’t felt like leaving my house that day, despite (or maybe because of) the celebration that was going on. I adore fireworks, so getting to see them was like a little “thank you” from the Universe for just pushing myself to lighten up a bit and go have fun.

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While in Chicago last week, I decided (quite stupidly) to walk from the restaurant where I’d just had dinner, all the way to the nearest movie theater. A distance of about a mile and a half isn’t bad in decent weather, but when it’s 10 degrees out and you’re not at all accustomed to that kind of cold, it’s just a crappy idea to try to do it on foot. But I did, and it all worked out just fine. Still got all of my digits. Bonus: it was beautiful and quiet out, didn’t meet very many people on the way, and every now and then a scene like this would present itself.

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This is the least exciting photo, but my favorite. I took it last night; it’s the parking garage that sits behind my gym. I had a good workout, then left the gym to see that the parking garage was looking really nice with the contrast of streetlights and night sky. Sometimes I feel like being allowed to notice and appreciate beauty in such mundane things is its own reward. The fact that it showed up after a particularly good night of working out was just that much sweeter.

Photography Friday! Color Atlas @ White Linen Night 2013

Last Saturday night was White Linen Night, a yearly arts-centric celebration that takes place on Julia Street, the heart of the New Orleans Arts District. In homage to the heat, everyone who is anyone shows up to walk down Julia wearing their finest white clothes and check out the art installations in galleries up and down the street. My little marketing firm, Cathedral Creative Studios, is located at the back of a gallery / events space called L’Entrepot, and this year it was left to me to decide what we’d be doing to get the biggest bang for our buck during White Linen.

Happily, I came up with the idea for what turned out to be a pretty cool art exhibit. I contacted several local arts collaborations – artist teams – and asked them to design an installation based on a place. The place could be large, small, imaginary, spiritual, elemental, physical, but it had to fit inside a 20′ x 20′ square and focus primarily on one color chosen from the Pantone Fall 2013 collection. Around 1,000 people experienced the event, getting the artists and our gallery some great publicity. I’m pretty happy, overall. Here are some snapshots from that night.

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Owl by artist Kyle Nugent. You guys probably know that purple is my favorite color and owls are my favorite animal, so when I walked in the gallery and saw this for the first time, you can only imagine my reaction 🙂

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To find out more about the show and its artists, please visit: http://cathedralnola.com/color-atlas-august-3rd-at-lentrepot/

Also, if you’d like to see the show from more angles (and in film):

Photos on L’Entrepot’s FB Page

Video of White Linen Night, featuring the Color Atlas show (and a silly clip of me around 1:37) by my friend & coworker Gary

Photography Friday! This Week’s Random Pics…

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A tiny view of my altar, taken this morning. The compass necklace is a new addition to my life. I just bought it from local jewelry artist Beau & Stella. Isn’t it gorgeous? Click here to see more on Etsy.

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A snapshot of a sketch on glass, drawn by my co-worker Gary. He’s an amazing artist and video game enthusiast, and he makes some funny videos, too. Check out his YouTube channel, Gary Does Things.

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A snapshot of Munky, my younger cat, first thing in the morning. He’s on my chest, demanding my full attention.

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Stormy weather. This is pretty much every summer afternoon in New Orleans.

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“Gangstas do what they want. Suckas do what they can.” Spotted (in chalk) on the side of a building down the block from my office.

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Miss Izzy, taking a nap on my shoulder (on the puffy part of the couch back). She’s my sweetheart, even if she’s a cranky weirdo for everyone else!

Photography Friday! July 4th Weekend Savannah & Charleston Road Trip

Last week I was too busy enjoying my vacation to stop and post for Photography Friday, but this week I’m making up for my absence! The Man and I went on a road trip from July 3rd through 7th, driving about 12 hours to Savannah, GA for the 4th, then on to Charleston, SC for the rest of the weekend, and finally back to NOLA. Here are some snapshots of our trip, plus a few assorted shots from home for a little lagniappe.

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Random wall from a Savannah alley.

Confiscated fake IDs on the "wall of shame" outside of a Savannah bar.

Confiscated fake IDs on the “wall of shame” outside of a Savannah bar.

Met up with two work friends (also on vacation) at this cool little Savannah bar.

Met up with two work friends (also on vacation) at this cool little Savannah bar.

Lovely live wreath spotted in Charleston.

Lovely live wreath spotted in Charleston.

Charleston's famed Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge.

Charleston’s famed Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge. I took this photo while on a nighttime ghost tour – on a boat!

50,000 lb. Rodman Guns at Ft. Moultrie (Sullivan's Island, SC)

50,000 lb. Rodman Guns at Ft. Moultrie (Sullivan’s Island, SC)

WWII-era radio room, preserved at Ft. Moultrie (Sullivan's Island, SC)

WWII-era radio room, preserved at Ft. Moultrie (Sullivan’s Island, SC)

Me at the WWII-era lookout station on Ft. Moultrie (Sullivan's Island, SC)

Me at the WWII-era lookout station on Ft. Moultrie (Sullivan’s Island, SC)

Beach at Sullivan's Island, SC

Beach at Sullivan’s Island, SC

Playing around in a Charleston candy shop.

Playing around in a Charleston candy shop.

My new salt lamp, purchased at a Charleston mineral shop.

My new salt lamp, purchased at a Charleston mineral shop.

Spotted in New Orleans.

Spotted in New Orleans.

Photography Friday! Week 2

The end of another long week. A lot of things happened this week, but what’s odd is that I hadn’t realized how much stuff went on until AFTER looking at all of the week’s snapshots. I’m glad that I’m doing this daily snapshot, even if I sucked at this week’s assignment. Expect another blog post tomorrow with more info on life – right now I’m tired and a little drunk, so my main imperative is to get this posted then go pass out.

Saturday, April 27: I did a little cooking, then went to get my nails done and pick up some groceries. Not a crazy exciting day, but my nails still look great, and the leek & potato soup turned out to be very delicious. *patting myself on the back*

Cutting Leeks, by Anna Harris

Cutting leeks for leek & potato soup.

Leek Flower, by Anna Harris

I got a little crazy with my scraps…

Particularly Helpful Sign

Walgreens moved down the street. On the sign they left behind, someone handwrote “Where’s Sally?” Some other very helpful person actually took the time to answer (with directions to the nearest Sally Beauty Supply, which is right next to the Walgreens in the Riverbend neighborhood).

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Calandiva blossoms at Whole Foods.

Sunday, April 28th: The Man, his brother, niece, mom, dad and I all went to the Audubon Aquarium together. I was mostly unimpressed. I want to go to a bigger aquarium, preferably one with touch tanks. Either way, we all saw lots of cool stuff, and Annabelle loved it. That’s really all that matters. Oh, yeah, I ate a HUGE sundae from Haagen Daas, but I forgot to take a picture of it. It was chocolate cookie dough ice cream with cookie bits and hot caramel sauce. Amazeballs.

The Man's brother Michael and his daughter, Annabelle.

The Man’s brother Michael and his daughter, Annabelle.

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Gulf of Mexico Sponsored By

Oh sure, go ahead and rub it in.

Monday, April 29th: Just one of the things I normally see on my walk to work.

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Tuesday, April 30th: Another sight from my daily walk home from work.

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Thursday, May 2nd: It rained all day, but the clouds had begun to clear by the time I walked home. Here’s what I saw.

Looking Down St. Joseph St., by Anna Harris

The view from Magazine & St. Joseph Streets, New Orleans

Friday, May 3rd: Friends from my freshman year in college are in town right now, and called to invite me out for drinks. When they showed up, there were several girls with them that I didn’t know. As it turned out, instead of just three girls I haven’t seen for ten years, there were a dozen girls, and it was one of my friends’ bachelorette party. No one bothered to tell me until I showed up. I didn’t even know she was engaged. It was a little awkward. I’m so fucking tired of people getting married and having babies. If you could all just put that kind of activity on hold for a year or two and let me get my bearing, that would be great…

Weird poster at The Balcony Bar in New Orleans.

Poster at The Balcony Bar

Photography Friday!

Welcome back, loyal readers! I just got back from an intense, four-day tech conference at which I was informed of the error of my online ways. Some changes are in the works, but it might take awhile to clean up my act. Since most of my effort needs to be devoted to web clients, my personal channels will undergo gradual change over the next few months. These are all good, happy changes, so I’m looking forward to putting all of these new tips and tricks to work for everyone’s benefit.

For starters, though, I’m going to begin being a bit more structured with my blog posts. From now on, we’re going to be celebrating Photography Friday, a collection of photos from the past seven days. Every Friday I’ll post at least seven photos, maybe more if I did particularly fun things over the course of the week.

On Sunday, I spent a few hours talking with some clients at their shop, a lovely Asian antiques shop called Silk Road Collection. We spent time discussing all of the great activities the company has planned over the next two months, but also just shooting the breeze. I adore beautiful old Chinese decor, and feel so at home in their beautiful showroom, so I took a little bit of time to walk around and take snapshots of my favorite items…

Chinese Soldier Statue, Silk Road Collection, New Orleans

A Chinese soldier stands guard to the back garden.

Buddha, Silk Road Collection, New Orleans

Everything’s A-OK.

Buddha Silhouette, Silk Road Collection, New Orleans

Buddha watches over the showroom floor.

Carved Wood Saints from the Philippines, at Silk Road Collection, New Orleans

Carved religious icons from the Philippines

From Monday through Thursday, I was lucky to attend the 2013 Pubcon South conference. My team just found out about this opportunity last minute, and because he’s awesome, my boss paid for me to take four days off to go fill my head with all kinds of dreamy geeky subject matter. I took so many great courses, and even got to meet some people that I’ve admired as real life social media superstars from afar for the last few years.

The biggest bits of takeaway, for me, were that 1) I’m spread way too thin, and it’s OK for me to feel that way, because 2) Content creation can be a full time job at ONE company, and I have almost 10 companies to take care of by myself. Also, I learned that I’m drastically underpaid for the amount of work I do, to the tune of “I’m making 1/10th of what I should be making in this industry” underpaid. Don’t worry – I’m already working on that.

Pubcon New Orleans 2013

I loved all of the sessions on content strategy, creation & management. Lots of the information was just fun and colorful, like this cool session on what “sells” social media posts – food is HUGE!

Movie Set Directional, New Orleans

It was very cold in the convention center, so cold that one of my fellow conventioneers mused how warm and cosy it would be to just pour his coffee over himself instead of drinking it. On Tuesday after leaving the center, I ran into this sign, a movie set directional poster (film crews use these signs – normally using a codeword, but sometimes a movie title acronym – to help cast & crew find sets around town). It was too funny to pass up. Wonder what movie it’s for?

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A self portrait, taken on Wednesday. Note my awesome purple headphones AND purple tech bag. The sculpture just visible behind me is part of an installation of five giant globe shapes bearing striated patterns that look like fingerprints. They’re located on Convention Center Blvd., directly across from the New Orleans Convention Center.

Yesterday (Thursday) was the last day of the conference, and on my way to the convention center I saw this really cool piece of graffiti. It’s kind of Banksy-esque. I did a little bit of research online to see if I could find an associated artist, but that’s the thing with street art. If you’ve seen this before, or you know the artist, feel free to let me know in the comments section!

New Orleans Graffiti Art Louis Armstrong

This graffiti art of a trumpet player (maybe Louis Armstrong?) is tucked away on the side of a building on Calliope Street.

Last night The Man thought it would be funny to dress my cat Isabel up in a scarf. As you can see in the photo, the “scarf” in question was actually a sock. I have an aversion to touching dirty socks – yes, I know how weird that sounds, but as the only child of a prankster dad, you’d be surprised how often I was surprised and otherwise tortured with smelly socks as a kid. So here I am, watching my cat run around with a stupid sock tied around her neck, too grossed out to take it off, squealing for The Man (who was laughing hysterically, I might add) to take it off. Luckily, Izzy was not only OK with wearing a sock scarf, she was delighted with her new hipster gear. She pranced around for almost fifteen minutes, purring and showing off her odd neckwear, proving again that cats are so weird. (Note: I’m very conscious of choking hazards, and was with her the entire time. I would never put a non-detachable collar on my cats, and I urge that you also research the danger of restrictive neckwear and other costume items for pets.)

Izzy in a scarf

Today I went to the grocery store. Definitely the least exciting thing about my week, but my favorite photos of the collection.

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Artichokes at Rouse’s Supermarket – today they’re .97 cents apiece.

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A sea of artichokes – the perfect shade of green.

Fresh Veggies

The produce section!