Friday, January 25, 2013

bagel friday

New York is known for its bagels, and rightfully so.  When I lived there, I fell in love with bagels.  Not the kind you buy at the store, or the type you'll get in a Starbucks. Real bagels - thick, soft, delicious bagels.  

To treat myself for making it to then end of the week, I had Bagel Friday!  It also prevented me from having Bagel Monday-Thursday.  I looked forward to that bagel all week and cherished it once it came.
It's the little things.

I recently decided to bring back Bagel Friday!! There is a really yummy bagel shop in town called Old School Bagel Cafe, with the tag line "No New York in the name, but the bagels are the same!"  And I will say, they are the closest I've had to a good NY bagel.  And they have pretty good coffee too which isn't so much a plus as it is a requirement.

Bagel Friday is the best.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Backwoods Norman Hiking Club

On Saturday I went on my first hike with the Backwoods Norman Hiking Club.  They go on a hike once a month, and this was the first time I was free to join them!

I love winter and seasonal weather, but on Saturday I welcomed the sun inspired, 60 degree, t-shirt spring teaser.  Barely even breezy, you couldn't have asked for better hiking weather.  

I really enjoyed hiking with a big group of others, all of which I had never previously met... but there was a lot of wait time involved, which I wasn't so keen on.  Too many pauses and breaks for my liking.  Lots of different personalities... from the nice older lady kicking it getting some exercise outdoors, to the annoying overenthusiastic backpacker obsessed with his gear.  

The hike was lead by a professional wilderness photographer and I enjoyed hearing about his work and his experience outdoors.  Additionally, instead of going on a standard trail, he lead us on a "game trail" - meaning, we followed the tracks of elk.  This felt so much more authentic and really added to the experience.

I connected well with a woman on the hike and we hope to do it again.  We carpooled home and it was nice to meet somebody new - making friends is always invigorating isn't it?

Outdoor fun makes me so excited for the upcoming adventures in my life... which begin in 93 days!! 
But more on that later...

Friday, January 11, 2013


"Ideas worth spreading"

People are amazing
 and TED is a phenomenal place to enjoy the blessings of their minds and spirits.
People who see uniqueness where others see normality.
People who make incredible discoveries.
People who dedicate their entire lives to just one thing.
People who see opportunities where others see limitations.

TED has several themed playlists available - some curated by TED, others by celebrities.
There is an enormous number of TED talks I enjoy, but here would be my playlist.

"8 talks that inspire me to live a more beautiful, open life"

Brené Brown: Listening to Shame

This is Brené's talk to follow her discussion on vulnerability - mentioned in my post "ingredients for joy and meaning."  This talk made me think a lot about the presence of shame, even in the smallest and most hidden ways, in my life as well as how it is almost embedded into the way our society runs sometimes.  Brené inspires me with honesty, an open heart, and a positive outlook on the powerful impact of understanding ourselves and each other in sympathetic and encouraging ways.

Benjamin Zander: The Transformative Power of Classical Music

Zander has an uncanny way of captivating his audience and sharing his passion for classical music with others.  Not only do I love the enthusiasm of this presentation, I also love the message - both that of a positive outlook on opportunity and the simple explanation on how wonderful music truly is. 

Amos Winter: The Cheap All-Terrain Wheelchair

This talk challenges my idea of limitations - constraints push innovation.  Additionally, a good example of the business/personal practice of a user-centered focus.

Candy Chang: Before I die I want to...

What I love about this talk, is the extraordinary connection Chang brings to people in ordinary places and ways.  Public art that takes an abandoned home and turns it into something great.   Her sense of community, and how she brings it out in others, is truly beautiful.

Aaron Koblin: Artfully Visualizing Our Humanity

Data and technology play a substantial role in today's world.  And let me be clear that I absolutely love data.  I love creating it, compiling it, analyzing, etc.  But in this talk, data becomes something unlike what I had viewed it before.  It is art.  Beautiful and interesting art.  It might just turn you data-haters into data-lovers. 

Paul Nicklen: Tales of Ice-Bound Wonderlands

Two things I love about this talk.  1)The fragility of nature and the importance of protecting and preserving it.  2)The amazing things that can come from stepping back from our judgments and giving people (or in this case, leopard seals) a chance.   Nicklen is a fantastic nature photographer and has an amazing, amusing story to tell. 

Dan Gilbert: The Surprising Science of Happiness

Happiness is something we're always seeking out or holding on to.  So what makes us happy?  And how do we find happiness where it doesn't naturally occur?  The idea of synthetic happiness was not surprising, but I found this talk very interesting and thought-provoking.

Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude

I'll end my playlist with one of my absolute favorites. The title of this talk sums it up perfectly: nature - beauty - gratitude.