Friday LOL:

Today's LOL isn't funny so much as it's cool: Dear Photograph.

Take a picture of a picture from the past in the present.

The site is a mix of funny ("Any idea where them dinosaur shorts are at?") and poignant ("Dad never took a picture of me, ever. Then I noticed his reflection in the glass"), with a lot of memories mixed in.

It reminds me of a photo of myself, taken at a local park when I was around 2 or 3. When my cousin was born 14 years later, he looked so much like me at that age that my mother took him to the same park and photographed him on the same rock. When my eldest was the same age, we did the same thing. The 7 year old got the same photo, and this fall, the intern will have her turn to sit on the rock. It's pretty cool to look at all of these photos and see the park's changes through the years (much like Dear Photograph).


Cooking with color:

I think I may have to find a new title for these types of recipe posts, because I have been cooking with the same palette of colors all year long.

Anywho. I love vegetables. And I especially love them in the summer, fresh from the garden. This "recipe" was made up one night when I was looking for an alternative pasta salad. I just tossed some veggies and pasta together, threw in some olive oil, and voila! Summer yumminess. This one is definitely a summer staple in our house.

Summertime Veggies and Pasta:
(please note that there are no amounts, as I don't really measure when I make this. The general rule of thumb is that I love veggies, so I try and do equal amounts veggies to pasta)

Cherry or grape tomatos
Any color pepper
Red onion
Fresh Basil
Pasta (brown rice pasta is yum with this--and normally I'm not a fan)
Olive oil

Chop up all your veggies into bite size pieces. Boil, and then cool, the pasta. Combine veggies, capers, basil and pasta. Add olive oil and salt, and mix. For extra spice, throw in a little hot pepper.


New work:

traciedesigns edition.

Back over the winter holidays, I decided that I was (finally!) going to bite the bullet and redesign my website. I was tired of the brown, I needed to update my work, and there was a lot I wanted to do differently. So January 1, I hung a "be back soon" sign on my site, and set out to work.

Then, clients started calling.

Being a 1-woman show, I couldn't exactly ask them to wait until I finished my site, so, as usual, my personal work got put on the back burner. For a loooooooonnnnnnngggggg time. I would revisit it every now and again, trying to tweak things here and there... but I never really felt like it was finished enough to go live.

Well I don't know if it was prolonged sun exposure from the weekend or what, but I (finally!) bit the bullet last night and decided that I was just going to put up what I had--because lord knows that's better than a "be back soon" message--and tweak things along the way. And once it went up last night, I realized that there wasn't very much to tweak.

So ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I present to you the all new traciedesigns (version 3.0 if you're counting). I really feel that this site reflects my design style so much better than the last one did. I hope you all love it as much as I do!


Day off:

The 25th anniversary of the release of Ferris Bueller's Day Off was this past weekend. Let's just let that sit for a moment, eh? 25 years ago, FBDO was released. 25. Years.


I remember seeing this movie in the theater (which I guess is a sign of getting older--sigh)! I remember staying during the credits to the very end. To this day I can't hear Yello's Oh Yeah without thinking Rooney eats it. Of course, I can't hear the Beatles' Twist and Shout without thinking of Ferris hamming it up on a parade float, either.

So of course when I saw illustrator Max Dalton's version of a FBDO board game, I ate it up.

If this were available for purchase, I would buy it in a heartbeat; maybe for the fact that I will always--no matter what I'm doing--stop to watch FBDO because it's such a great movie, or maybe because the vintage-type illustrations are just plain awesome. Either way, win/win.


Work hard, be kind:

It starts off hysterical (natch), but towards the end, Conan O'Brien's commencement speech from Dartmouth is inspiring and awesome:

So, at the age of 47, after 25 years of obsessively pursuing my dream, that dream changed. For decades, in show business, the ultimate goal of every comedian was to host The Tonight Show. It was the Holy Grail, and like many people I thought that achieving that goal would define me as successful. But that is not true. No specific job or career goal defines me, and it should not define you. In 2000—in 2000—I told graduates to not be afraid to fail, and I still believe that. But today I tell you that whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.

Many of you here today are getting your diploma at this Ivy League school because you have committed yourself to a dream and worked hard to achieve it. And there is no greater cliché in a commencement address than "follow your dream." Well I am here to tell you that whatever you think your dream is now, it will probably change. And that's okay...

I have told you many things today, most of it foolish but some of it true. I'd like to end my address by breaking a taboo and quoting myself from 17 months ago. At the end of my final program with NBC, just before signing off, I said "Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen." Today, receiving this honor and speaking to the Dartmouth Class of 2011 from behind a tree-trunk, I have never believed that more.

I can't think of better advice to give to recent college graduates--and anyone, really.

You can read the text of the speech here (but it's much more fun to watch it).


Feel good:

This weekend, I participated in Relay for Life, an overnight fundraising event to benefit the American Cancer Society:

At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length.

For the second year, I was on team Survive, Thrive and Endure, one of 164 teams that participated. All in all, over $241,557.10 was raised by 2053 participants (our team raised over $7000)!

Saturday night into Sunday morning, I walked 12 miles in honor of both of my grandmothers. It was a chilly night (much colder than I had anticipated), and I don't remember being as exhausted so early on last year, but it was a great night. While I had a good time with my friends, the cause and mood were not lost. Looking forward to doing it next year!