Cosmic Confection.

After this disastrous (but well-intentioned) experiment, I was convinced that spherical cake baking was all but impossible; baker Rhiannon of the blog Cakecrumbs has proven me (very, very) wrong. She's the wizard behind this spectacular confection, modeled after the planet Jupiter, complete with Great Red Spot and a layer of blue hydrogen.

Rhiannon writes, "I detailed the atmosphere of Jupiter by covering the cake with ivory marshmallow fondant, then dry brushing a combination of ivory, brown and maroon edible ink...Once all the base colours were down I started removing colour to create the storms or other distinguishing features and topping it off with highlights. The whole process took about 8 hours with teeny tiny brushes."

In the words of one enthusiastic commenter, "I WOULD EAT THIS WITH MY BARE HANDS THIS IS MAGNIFICENT." See the full post on Cakecrumbs, here. Happy Wednesday!

Sleep, Snapped.

My friend Megan recently wrote an essay about watching people sleep; just yesterday, she posted a link to these 1980s photographs by Ted Spagna, an exploration of the same subject. The idea of a sleep portrait is so fascinating - take a look below, and read more, here

Spagna's website calls the portraits a journey into "inner space": "Taken at fixed intervals throughout the night from a bird’s-eye view, and displayed in chronological order, the series of images reads like a silent film." 

I love that.

Photographs via George Eastman House and the Estate of Ted Spagna. Thanks, New Republic

Edible Bouquets.

For a long time, I've kept lavender and rosemary in mason jars around my room; however, these edible bouquets, photographed by Kim Lightbody for Cereal Magazine - with asparagus and artichoke and cherry tomatoes and chard - would make a pretty, peculiar, (not to mention palate-pleasing) summer substitute.

In other news, how was your weekend? I've just returned from a camping trip at an airfield in Brooklyn with two-hundred other people - I'll share more about it this week! In the meantime, happy Monday...

POV: Sooner/Later.

POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. Each POV entry will include a photograph and a short reflection based on what’s pictured. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV will focus on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.  

One afternoon, a year before I finished college, I woke from a nap with a start. I dreamt that I’d graduated, that I was done with school. That it was time to pack my things in boxes and leave.

But I’m not ready, I thought, my legs caught in a tangle of sheets. In an episode not unlike the sort reported by those on the brink of death, I saw my college life - and all its yet-unlived experiences - flash before my eyes. I’d never climbed Tree Nine, never explored the Porter Caves, hadn’t yet combed the woods for the mythical makeshift houses built by students in the trees.

For a moment, before I realized I’d been dreaming, I was miserable.

Sheet Show.

If I were less afraid of clutter, and more open to color and chaos and Christmas lights, I might have an apartment like Myf Shepherd's. Featured recently on The Selby, Myf's New York City hideout is bedecked in sheets; splashed in color; embellished with trinkets, treasures, and curiosities galore. I - or at least my much-cooler alter ego - can't help but love it.  

Photos by Todd Selby. See the full post, here.

Learning to Love Summer.

Though I grew up in Honolulu and Los Angeles, places known for year-round summers, I've always struggled with the stifling heat that July and August bring - and now that I live in New York, summer stickiness (and sweatiness, and itchiness) are new realities that've taken much getting used to. Fall and winter are more my speed, but Max's most recent batch of photos, posted to his blog last week, capture the season at its finest.  These friendly faces only add to the sunniness, as does the little guy pictured in the bottom two photos (my nephew Dash), who seems to grow more and more delectable every day. 

Viva summer. Photos by Max Wanger - see more, here.

Momentos & Thread.

For a stormy Tuesday, two sentimental - and completely devastating - art projects by twenty-year-old artist Lindsay Bottos-Sewell. In the first, titled I Don't Really Miss You, the artist reflects on lost love using "momentos and thread,"

while in The Morning After, she records "thoughts about the briefness of a hook up written in permanent marker in the places he touched."

These make my heart hurt. See more at Bottos-Sewell's website, here. Thanks, Dad, for clueing me in!

100 Feeders.

Two years ago, when I moved from Bushwick - where sixteen-wheelers outnumbered trees and my closest neighbor was a Boar's Head plant - to Williamsburg, the first thing I noticed was the sound of birds. Waking up to their happy strains reminded me of childhood, made me feel at home. It makes sense then, that I'd be drawn to 100 Feeders, a project by Helsinki-based artist Polly Balitro, who built 100 feeders, gave them away, and asked each recipient to share his or her thoughts on the experience of using them. Beautiful. 

See more at Balitro's website, here. Thanks, Mayonaka, for the introduction.

#1 Fans.

Disciples, a series by James Mollison - the photographer behind Where Children Sleep - features portraits of music fans outside various concerts (below, from top to bottom: Madonna, Rod Stewart, Missy Elliott, The Casualties, and Kiss). Writes Mollison, "As I photographed the project I began to see how the concerts became events for people to come together with surrogate 'families,' a chance to relive their youth or try and be part of a scene that happened before they were born." I love it.

See more at James Mollison's website, here. Thanks, All That Is Interesting.

And for the weekend, three links, just because:
-Heartbreaking or hilarious? A Chinese man claims to have stolen over 800 books in an attempt to solve an existential crisis, admitting, ultimately, "I couldn't comprehend the meaning of life...I was hoping to find the answer by reading those books."
-Jay-Z's 99 Problems, illustrated.
-And lastly, speaking of writerly wisdom, this tidbit from Hunter S. Thompson: "Walk tall. Kick ass. Learn to speak Arabic. Love music and never forget you come from a long line of truth-seekers, lovers, and warriors." 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Look At Me.

There's something mysterious and a little bit sad about old photos you find in bins and boxes at flea markets or antique shops. As a writer, I'm fascinated by them: who are these people and what were their stories? Turns out, the Tumblr feed Look At Me was founded on the same curiosity. Creators Frederic Bonn and Zoe Deleu started with just a handful of prints salvaged from the streets of Paris; now the project has expanded to include countless other spellbinding finds. 

Scrolling through, I can't help but think what great prompts these photographs would make for a creative writing exercise. As the site states, "[These people] can't help but be interesting, as stories with only an introduction." 

See more at Look At Me, here. Found via Messy Nessy Chic. 

Live, Love, Say It Well.

Ryan Sheffield's collection of writers' quotes on Etsy is so rich and well-curated, I had a hard time narrowing down my favorites. I love Nabokov's line about a scientific imagination, and Bukowski's thoughts on art and tacos, but the best of the best might be this one from Denis Johnson, whose book Jesus' Son I read last summer and loved: "English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows."

See more and purchase prints from Ryan Sheffield on Etsy. Visit Sheffield's website, here.

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