Photography: Adventures in a Natural Wonderland

“It was much pleasanter at home,’ thought poor Alice, ‘when one wasn’t always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn’t gone down that rabbit-hole —and yet — and yet — it’s rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I do wonder what CAN have happened to me! When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one! There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought! And when I grow up, I’ll write one — but I’m grown up now,’ she added in a sorrowful tone; ‘at least there’s no room to grow up any more HERE.”

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RT ≠ Existential Crisis

Imagine you’re in an 18th century French salon, surrounded by intellectuals and elites discussing and debating ideas that are today known as the legacy of the Enlightenment. Not only the dress and behavior, but the very conversation will be dictated by convention. You may feel intense nervousness and pressure to speak up, worried about speaking with unrefined language or treading on a taboo topic. In the event you do say something, you know your reputation will be determined by the thoughts you share with them, and how you share them. Now imagine that every time you stand up, you say, “Now, I’m going to say some things to you, but just because I’m sharing them with you does NOT mean I endorse them!” Would this assuage your fear for your reputation among the public? Would this have any effect on how your listeners will judge you? Would this protect you from judgement  in the event that you share inaccurate or unpopular information?  If you write “RT ≠ Endorsement” on your Twitter profile, then you might think the answer to at least one of these questions is “yes.”

Le Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, France

Le Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, France

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Mixology Monday: Blueberry Macaron Tonic

This cocktail recipe post is brought to you by a good bout of serendipity. When one of my favorite blogs, Stir and Strain, chose Nuts for May’s Mixology Monday theme, I had even more incentive to perfect and share an Amaretto cocktail I had been cultivating for my best friend, Devon, and her fiancé, Rob, as a contribution to the couple’s recipe collection. The cocktail’s nutty and sweet – just like the best kind of love!

[I know that sounded cheesy, but, seriously, this drink makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!]

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Photography: Strangers in Parisian Parks

Let me give myself up entirely to the sweetness of conversing with my soul, since that is only thing men cannot take away from me.

-Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from The Reveries of the Solitary Walker

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Mixology Monday: The Hot Stick and Jalapeno-Cilantro Infused Vodka

A couple of months ago,  I was bumming around the internet and found this list of Haribo gummies not typically found in the US. Because of my love for spiciness and sweetness, Haribo Hot Sticks,  raspberry-jalapeno,  habanero-orange, and lemon-ginger gummies, caught my eye. The only problem – all these flavors are combined with licorice. While I detest eating licorice, I actually love the weight and dimension an anise flavor imparts to a cocktail. When The Straight Up chose Anise for Mixology Monday I decided to skip paying shipping and handling fees and imagine Haribo’s Hot Sticks as a cocktail. I added smoked cinnamon to complement the ginger and anise notes, while also being a quite literal stand-in for a “hot stick.”

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Where Julia Child ate her first French meal,

It was an epiphany. In all the years since that succulent meal, I have yet to lose the feelings of wonder and excitement that it inspired in me. I can still almost taste it.

Claude Monet painted thirty emblematic images of the Cathedral of Notre Dame,

Everything changes, even stone.

and Saint Joan of Arc was executed. Continue reading

Mixology Monday: The Spruce Goose

This is a tale of two cocktails. The first, a failure, the second a success. When I read that Booze Nerds chose the theme “Resin” for the world-web-wide Mixology Monday, I immediately thought of a favorite winter seasonal beer of mine, Magic Hat’s “Wooly,” and was ready to make my first time participating in the monthly mixology call for recipes.

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Photography: Moving Back, Part II

As promised, here’s the second photographic illustration of my move back home to New Jersey. Many of these were taken from and near my favorite park, Kittatinny Valley State Park, but others were from my backyard and other New Jersey parks.  I also couldn’t restrain myself from including a few shots of Central Park.

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Photography: Moving Back, Part I

Last month I moved from Somerville, MA to New Jersey to live at home while I plan out my next steps. I have a lot of photos of the past year that I have yet to organize, but I’m really drawn to this collection from my last week living in the Boston area. They capture the bittersweet feeling of leaving the urban and suburban environments I called “home” for five years, including the little details of my first apartment. This is the first part of the move; the second part, captured by the nature of my exurban New Jersey home, will follow.

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The Age of Denial, or the Age of Skepticism?

Last Thursday’s New York Times published an op-ed article, “Welcome to the Age of Denial,” by Professor Adam Frank. He condemns a very real and very dangerous trend in American society of denying scientific facts, both on the political stage and in households. He writes that we live in a climate in which it is “politically effective, and socially acceptable to deny scientific fact.” I agree, and Frank’s own evidence below is very supportive of this disappointing statement:

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