Launch of a new daily blog

November 3rd, 2011 by carissa

For a long time now I’ve been neglecting the tide pool blog, and I think the main reasons boil down to 1) I feel some amount of self-created pressure to make it serious and content-rich in each post for some reason, and 2) while it’s a powerful and gorgeous blogging platform, I find WordPress cumbersome to use on a daily basis (which I think contributes to my feelings from #1 as well). I want to be able to blog more flippantly and more mobile-y, with more built-in features I don’t have to carefully customize.

I’m not sure what to do with this blog yet; I will keep it for now. But regardless, I’d like to announce the opening of a new blog at this domain’s root page:

iPhone 4S!

November 1st, 2011 by carissa

My 3GS is two years old; I have loved that phone long and hard but it was showing its age. The vibration was louder than the ringtone, it was slow and glitchy, and the very day my 4S came in the mail was the first day my 3GS told me it didn’t have enough room to update the apps that needed updating. So, so long old friend, and hello new friend who has a way way better camera.

As an avid Instagrammer and general iPhonetographer I am so excited to upgrade the only camera I always have with me. The picture above is the first one I took with the 4S and put on Instagram; it’s of this tree across the street from our new house that is part of a pair of trees that are as red as autumn gets, and I love them. It’s been a great fall so far, but now that it’s officially November I think I’m bracing myself for the inevitable loss of fall and the gain of the typically nasty midwestern winter.

nature walk and furniture update

September 20th, 2011 by carissa

I had a great time taking a solo walk around a local park today, which has both paved and forested paths. There is restored prairie in some sections of the park and some mostly terrible outdoor sculptures as well. I took some of the off-road paths in the twilight during today’s perfect weather and shot some iPhone pictures. (I processed these with either Camera+ or the newly upgraded Instagram.)

In the man-made realm, our new couch is finally in our house as of this afternoon. We ordered a couch from a local independent (and very quirky) dealer who offers, among other things, sofas from Younger — a modern and classic high-quality furniture maker that seemed perfect for our “no crappy made-in-China couches” approach to quest. After 6 weeks of waiting for it to be built, the couch that finally arrived had the wrong fabric. The floor model the dealer already had, the exact one we’d fallen in love with and ended up ordering, was still there of course and in pretty perfect shape (this is a low-traffic furniture store that’s open about 18 hours a week). So one negotiated discount later we ended up taking that couch and depositing our incorrect one in its place on the display floor. “All’s well that ends well, you know, like Shakespeare!” he exclaimed as we left.

new couch

Check out a few more pictures in my set here.

the big move

August 28th, 2011 by carissa

Urbana house :: Aug 2011

Things have been quiet around here — you may have been following some of my daily life images on Instagram (I post there frequently), but mainly we’ve been working and planning and sorting and finally moving. As of the beginning of August we now live in a house over twice as large as our last one, with so much more light and space and more improvements as compared to our previous situation than I can believe.

Nearly three years in our old place meant an amazing accumulation of stuff despite our best intentions for that not to happen. But that’s what moving is for, starting over and cleaning it all out. That’s not to say there aren’t some boxes of stuff we certainly don’t need that didn’t drift over to the new place, but we’re not here to talk about that… we’re here to see some nice pictures of some of the main rooms of the place fully sorted out.

Click here to see the whole set!

hiking the Grand Canyon

June 13th, 2011 by carissa

Grand Canyon Trip :: June 2011

From June 4th to June 6th we hiked (backpacked) down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back out again. Here is a set of photos from our cameras during the trip — I still need to do a picture swap with the other hiker for his images, so this set will grow to include more in-canyon shots soon hopefully.

The trip was superlative in many ways. Very beautiful, very painful, very unique, very challenging. I am *still* healing from the hike in some of my joints and muscles. I wasn’t prepared for how intense it would be for me, but I learned a lot and I’m ultimately glad I did it. Plus the surreal beauty of this place is incredible and worth quite a bit of effort to get to experience it.

Big news might just be upcoming in the next couple of weeks — we’ve put in our application for renting out an amazing house on the other side of town. It has so many things we currently lack that I keep thinking there must be some kind of a catch. The landlord is great, the location is great… keeping fingers crossed.


May 21st, 2011 by carissa

instagram mosaic :: 21 May 2011

I’ve been an Instagram user for a few months now. I love the creative, social, daily-life sharing aspects of it. It makes everyday photography accessible and minimizes some of the intimidating aspects of it by giving everyone the same platform/technology, packaged with a way to share their images easily with whoever would like to watch. Some of my favorite bloggers have been joining up in the last few weeks as well, and it’s been fun to watch it spread and to get glimpses into the lives of artists and writers I admire.

Even if I’m not posting here I’m usually broadcasting daily moments through photographs. Follow me in the Instagram app under the username “carissapod”, or follow me on the web here.


May 14th, 2011 by carissa


Sholem Building :: Home of Good Shoes

[some images from a Sunday evening wandering around downtown]

The day before I took these, I had found a handwritten receipt for shoes totaling about $6.50 from a Champaign business run by the Sholem family in the 1940’s. Their slogan, the “Home of Good Shoes”, was printed on the receipt, alongside their guarantees of superior workmanship. The next evening on our walk, I looked up to find the very building that this business had owned, still sporting the Sholem name and their motto. Awesome!

new stuff

May 13th, 2011 by carissa

new Paul Smith glasses [PS 433]

New glasses!

New springtime growth!

And new posts coming soon.

spring weather

April 10th, 2011 by carissa

beautiful day

This was the scene in my parents’ back yard yesterday. It was a really gorgeous day.

birthday fossil

April 9th, 2011 by carissa

new ammonite fossil

new ammonite fossil

new ammonite fossil

My birthday was April 7th. 27 years old, oh dear. Is that ‘late twenties’? I think it probably is.
One of the amazing gifts my family got for me was this large, unusual ammonite fossil. I’m not an expert, but in my many years of ammonite collecting and perusing I’ve never seen one quite like it.

I took these shots of it today with my iPhone and processed some of them (the first and third above) with a new photography app called Camera+. I love it — lots of photo taking and postprocessing options.