When Life Gives You (really sour) Lemons (every damn week), Make (some fine) Lemonade

NYC. Winter 2014: snow. snow. snow. sleet. ice. ice rain. snow. snow. snow. snow. ice. ice. ice rain. rain. rain. snow. rain. ice. snow snow snow. Repeat every week. There's nothing to be done about it. May as well break it up and find that positive spin. Casey Neistat has the right idea. Watch. Take some notes. Find your snow-spiration. (Yeah, that's right, snow-spiration.)

(P.S. If you'd rather just sit at home and mope, watch some of Casey Neistat's short films HERE---they're a hellofalot of fun.)


If You Haven't Looked At The Little Things, This Might Change Your Mind: Michael Mapes From Small to Grand

It's the little things that count most. Isn't that how the saying goes? The little pieces that add up to the big piece. You can apply that to your enjoyment of daily life, your yoga practice, your [fill in the blank here]. In the case of American artist Michael Mapes, he has reimagined grand Dutch portraits---think Rembrandt---through little specimens collaged together. Using tiny items like insect pins, gelatin capsules, eyelashes, vials, pill boxes, fabric, all the colors and textures and shapes individually stand out when you're up close, but when you step back the larger portrait surfaces into one whole piece. You can see more of these portraits over at DesignBoom and read about Michael Mapes here. And if you're anywhere near Billings, MT, he has an upcoming March show of these works at the Yellow Stone Art Museum. Would love to see these in person.

dutch specimen MT2, 2013
28″w x 34″ h x 3.5″ d
photographic prints, insect pins, pinning foam, gelatin capsules, glass vials, painted canvas, cast resin, pill organizer, plastic specimen bags, antique optometrist lens, cartography pins, cotton thread, magification boxes, fake pearls
[all images (c) michael mapes]


If You Haven't Seen This, Take A Minute (well, 15 minutes): The Lion Whisperer

Kevin Richardson, aka the Lion Whisperer (let's throw in hyenas as well), gets close---real close---to these wild beauties. He not only films them up close and personal, but he consider himself a part of their families. After years of spending time with them, he's learned their hierarchies and he knows how to "speak" their language. The reasoning behind all this (aside from his love):
"What I have been able to do with my unique relationships is capture people's attention. It's about trying to see numbers in the wild increase and trying to figure out how we're going to achieve it."
 The visuals in this video are just mind-blowing.


What They're Saying: Two-Buck Chuck. The Real Deal.

The infamous Trader Joe's Two-Buck Chuck (the college budget's alcoholic gold and the thrifty-man's saving grace) gets the full-on taste test by a brave sommelier and a woman who sounds a lot like my girlfriends. The burning question: How does Charles Shaw Blends rank? Turns out cheap has more complex notes than we thought, including: vinegar, Jolly Ranchers, dad's bathtub, hippies, paint thinner, wood chips at a playground, body spray, weed, and so much more. Although, not all blends rank the same. You might be surprised to learn that a couple of them are rather palatable.

Read on: "We Made A Sommelier Taste All The Trader Joe's Two-Buck Chuck" by Ben Robinson over at Thrillest.com 


It's Time to Conquer

2014. Twenty-Fourteen. Two Zero One Four. The year to live dangerously. Or as close as you'll get. 

Small boulder climbing in the face of getting my shoes wet? Dangerous. 
Starting up SWP again? Very dangerous. 
Reading this post? Rebel. 

We're living on the edge this year. 

Montauk . All season fun.


iPhone In Front of Strip House: A Garden Of Tulips

Tulips below. Shadow above. If I could have hopped the railing, I would have sat myself in the middle of that urban field of flowers. Maybe even taken a nap. Actually, that sounds like a lovely mission for the weekend: find a patch of grass, some flowers nearby, and doze off.


Next Stop, Caine's Arcade

Next time you're in LA, take an unexpected turn to drop by Caine’s Arcade. Pick up a fun pass---$2 will get you 500 turns. Take a moment to appreciate the intricacies of the cardboard arcade. Shake hands with the 9 year old who created this make-shift fun park out of recycled boxes and with the father who let his son take over the front space of his auto parts store. And then forget you're an adult. Play like a kid. Leave knowing that the entrepreneurial and creative spirit is alive and well in the next generation. [Read more about Caine, his arcade, and the good people who made this video a reality HERE.]

A short film by Nirvan, produced by Interconnected.


Today's Inspiration: This Pink is The Pink

This is the kind of pink that would look spectacular on walls, on dinner plates, draped over bodies, just anywhere and everywhere. It's a cross between mauve and antique pink---understated yet unforgettable. I don't think my eyes would ever grow tired of this shade. It has that timeless, elegant allure. . . perfect for a summer palette. What's your color mood today?

[thanks to K. for sending me this pink pelican photo. random things bring great thrills.]


If You Haven't Been Listening To These Tracks, You Should Get Listening

Going into the holiday weekend, it's a bit of a spring dance party around here. What's playing chez nous:
  Flash by Slove
  Synchronize by Discodeine feat. Jarvis Cocker

[W's pick:]
Heartbeat by Childish Gambino