First, fun news: I have an intern! She’s Alex, and has an enthusiasm for photography – and life in general – that rocks my world. I need to get a better photo of her face, but for now, enjoy her cool-girl photo stance and rockin’ blond hair patch.
On Friday, 3 May, I finally did what I’ve been hoping to do for about 18 months: I convinced an eloping couple that getting into the row boats of Central Park in their wedding clothes was an excellent idea. Since I had Alex to
boss around help, she rowed, and I was able photograph them around the 22 acre pond from the stern of my very own row boat. Then I tried rowing, and she snapped some shots of me. It was so cool, like a scene out of Stuart Little.
It’s a career highlight, a Life List item I got to check off, and I’m pretty sure that I won a bet with Katie Jane over who can get newlyweds in a row boat first.
If you do this, I recommend going on a week day and slathering on a good sunscreen.
Like many long-term bloggers, my little corner of the internet has gone through several evolutions. Right now, one of my biggest goals for this space is to share more photography which is a change from my usual verbose style of blogging about my feeeelings.
There are a lot of reasons for this: I want to promote myself as a photographer for hire. I want to hone my voice as an artist. And (maybe just temporarily) Writing About My Feelings is on the back-burner a little bit.
It ebbs and flows, you know?
My smart friend Jesse built everything for me. We kept the same basic shape, but made the photos to display wider at 800px. We also moved the navigation buttons to the top and removed the color so they wouldn’t compete with the photography. Johanna hand wrote them, which is my favorite part. We also have a hilarious 404 error, which Jesse wrote the quirky copy for. I read it in the back of a cab, and snorted out loud!
The logo is the same; I just couldn’t part with it, and also, I have a lot of business cards printed with it. It’s not going anywhere for a while.
What do you think?
photo of me snapped from my iPhone,
but I can’t remember who took it taken by Leslie
At the first Camp Mighty in November 2011, we shared five things to accomplish from our Life Lists in the coming year. Three out of my five got done, and nine got done all together as opportunities presented themselves which I feel awesome about. I took it a step further, too, and picked an over-all goal for the year: while floating in the pool, I wished for 2012 be the year my business grew to a real, viable enterprise. It worked! I’m really proud of where I am professionally, and the fact that it happened while my marriage was falling apart made my business growing particularly victorious and sweet.
This year I’ve merely committed to do any five things off my Life List, and my “floating in the pool” goals for 2013 are three big things: putting myself on my feet again with my new life circumstances as a single lady, continuing to grow my business, and fixing my body. I don’t think I’ve talked about this here before: for the past nine years I’ve had a headache on the
left right. It gets worse with stress, and during the divorce it’s gotten so bad that my whole left right side has gone partially numb head to hip. Something is very wrong, and I need to solve that along with some unhappy digestion issues that are coming up. I have no idea how to afford all this as I have no health insurance, but I’m going to figure it out, and it’s going to take financial precedence over pursuing other things.
(I would really like to milk a cow and fly kites in a group of friends this year, though. Figured I’d just put it out there.)
image by ali mitton
Camp Mighty is in a few weeks, and I’m excited. As a reminder: part of my attendance requires me to raise funds for Charity:Water, and I’m doing that by selling some of my fine art prints on prints.AmberMarlow.com, which I will be doing right up until I leave.
I decided it was a good time to eyeball my entire Life List to see if it needed tweaking, and it does. As I’ve gotten older, wiser, and more comfortable in my skin, I’m happy to change or delete things off my list that are no longer a reflection of who I am now or hope to be in the future. Also, in keeping with a big rule of Life Lists – don’t have anything on there that will make you feel bad if you don’t accomplish – I’ve removed some stuff entirely.
These are my changes:
“Go ‘real camping’ with no showers and bathe in a river.” turned into “Go camping”, because that’s badass enough. Cabin+flush toilets is just enough rustic, thank you very much.
“Make a bed-size quilt out of re-purposed fabric.” is out. I don’t like sewing, and every time I thought about doing this, it bummed me out.
“Run a marathon.” turned into “run a 5k.”, and I’m perfectly happy to have that be a very, very loose interpretation of “run”. My exercise jam is not running. There is, frankly, too much of me that needs to be tied down by expensive spandex before I can hit the road. (Boobs.)
“Learn to play a song on guitar” turned into “ukelele”. I asked my friend Jon what he thought about me playing the uke, and he laughed. “What’s that, Zooey?” Look, I know they’ve become a bit of a twee hipster cliche, but I love them. Shut up, Jon.
“Backpack through Europe” became “tour Europe”, because I’m sure as shit not backpacking anywhere. “Backpacking” was added when I was 15 and made my very first Life List, and it sounded like a lot of fun. At 30, it sounds horrible.
“Make an article of clothing for myself that is acceptable to wear out of the house.” is gone, because, again, I hate sewing.
“Help build a house in a third world country” turned into “Travel to Africa and document charity efforts with my photography.”, because I’m way better with a camera than a hammer, and I pretty much just want to be Karen Walrond when I grow up anyway.
“Hold a tarantula.” turned into “Pet a tarantula.” because let’s not get crazy. But maybe it can sit on my lap? We’ll see.
“Give birth” turned into “Become an essential part of a child’s life.” because that makes more sense to me right now. Related: if anyone needs a thoughtful, loving, atheist (no)god-parent for their kiddo, I’m all yours. I can teach them about evolution, loving thy neighbor, and the art of frozen margaritas.
“Crochet an afgan.” is out, because I hate sewing-ish activities, too, or anything to do with putting textiles together.
“Grow an appreciation and knowledge of good hip hop” is out. I tried because I thought it would be cool, and hip hop has an amazing story from the bit I’ve read, but I don’t care enough to get into it in depth.
I’ve added “Learn French, conversationally” and “Learn Italian, conversationally” to my list, too, because these days, languages are fascinating me. I’m also considering removing “do a huge zip line”, as I have a well documented fear of jumping off of high platforms into the air, but I’m going to let Future Amber figure that one out.
How are you doing with your Life List?
New York Trapeze School | Pier 16 (South Street Seaport), New York, NY 10036 | Manhattan
Well… maybe not with the “greatest of ease”.
I started off pretty positive…
… however, if you read the last post where I jumped off of something high into the air, it will not surprise you that I got to the top of the ladder at trapeze class and shook my head.
“I am not going to jump off of this.” I said to the instructor, looking down. “I’m terribly sorry, but it’s back down the ladder for me.”
She blinked at me a few times from under her hoodie; later I found out she was briefly accessing if I was one of the scared people that needed the kind-and-gentle approach or a tough-love kick in the rear. She went warm and reasonable with me, which ended up working.
“What are you afraid of? It’s safe!”
“It’s supposed to be high.” she said, somehow managing to avoid a “Duh!” tone of voice. “That’s the point. Don’t worry, you’re totally safe. We have celebrities and little kids that come here. No one gets hurt.”
The ladder already had someone else on it waiting, and I was all strapped in, and really, the only way off the platform was through the air. So I smushed the tears off my face with my sleeve’s edge and jumped, while doing an epic ugly-cry that turned into a belly laugh, because, after two seconds, it got really fun to be swinging around up there.
You can’t tell from these photos if this is the most awesome thing that ever happened to me or the worst, right? Neither can I. I think, though that jumping off of things that are high is not my jam. But in retrospect, it was cool, I felt victorious, and, after the four staff members on the ground all shouted up at me to open my eyes, I was able to get an amazing view of Brooklyn, the FDR, and the river between them.
Thank you to the crew at the Trapeze School of New York at Pier 16, especially Dana who picked all the right words to get me to leap, and to my sweet friend Lara Ruth for setting this up and snapping shots with my camera. Now go do this!
first photo by James Stress
Yeah, that’s right! Two list items in one weekend!
Saturday night me, Dana, Wesley and Rob headed to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. There are touristy things to do in New York City that are way overrated, but going to the top of the Empire State Building is not one of them, especially at night when all the lights on the ground are twinkling and you can see three states worth of view. The observation deck is open until 2 am and the last elevator up is at 1:15. We walked through the lobby doors at 1 and sailed through the empty maze of velvet ropes that usually are jammed with tourists. From lobby to observation deck was about 5 minutes.
At the top, I got good and kissed.
My friend Emily asked on Facebook, “Is the one you’ve been talking about for the last 10 years???” It is one and the same; actually I think it’s been longer.
The artist worked off of an inspiration picture I found, plus some old nature drawings, and came up with just the right design for me after a few revisions.
I think it is very beautiful.
I believe you can click to see the photo larger and see my foot in all of it’s wrinkly glory.
It’s not what I had in mind when I set this goal, and it wasn’t something I was aiming for… it just sort of happened (but don’t think that I’m not busting with pride just the same. I’m stoked!) Anna Jane Grossman, author of the book Obsolete, was a recent Hey Brooklyn interviewee, and I take portraits of all my guests. When Gizmodo needed a photo for her for an article she wrote, they asked to use mine, and of course I said yes.
It was front page for a while, with her cute face – my handiwork – front and center. And it was huge!
Half the comments were about how hot she is, and one compared her to a pug! Anna Jane, you are way hotter than a smooshed-face dog.
So, mission unwittingly accomplished. I don’t think this is what I had in mind, but if my photograph was on the front page of one of the biggest blogs in the world, I’m calling it done and done. Rock!
p.s. you can go here to read the article.
I’m crossing number 43, “Have my own weekly or daily radio show”, off my life list as done. It hasn’t made me any money, but it COULD, and this past week was the first time I could see that it could, but more to the point, who wants to define “success” solely as “making money”? It makes me happy, which is infinitely more valuable, and I’ve stuck with it for six months, and built it from the ground up, from nothing, into something that is listened to and enjoyed by hundreds of people each week. It is the most successful project I’ve ever worked on, and I am very, very proud.
Cheers to me!
“You probably could have written this song! Its one of Jack’s favorites and i think about you whenever I hear it.”
I love this! My friend Emily – mom to one year old Jack – sent me this video with that note, which made me realize I haven’t written anything in ages. It’s sad; I used to have a box full of potential little kid songs that was added to weekly, although none of them got far.
One of the best things ever is when old friends remind you of parts of yourself you haven’t thought about in a while. I’ve spent the past few days writing a ton of extra lines to this song, although none of them are appropriate! Way fun, though.
I’m going to add “Sell a kid’s song” to my life list.
Enjoy having this stuck in your head ALL WEEKEND!