31 January 2011


the story: i met lillian in kindergarten, and we became fast friends. many brick couches, lemonade sales, secret clubs, ballet classes, birthday parties, and years later we made it to the same high school, where i was blessed to continue to call her a dear friend. i gave her a necklace a while back that you can probably see in most of the photos, and it means the world to me that she never ever took it off... until it broke, that is. just a warning, this girl's about as cute as they come.

your [soundtrack]: "pink bullets" by the shins, "re: stacks" by bon iver, "academia" by sia, "for whom the bell tolls" by metallica, "good stuff" by b-52s, "ATLiens" by outkast, "the wall" by pink floyd, "scar tissue" by red hot chili peppers, "that time" by regina spektor, "goonies never say die!" by set your goals, "fire and rain" by james taylor.
your [script]: there are so many movies that i really enjoy, but my all time top favorite forever and ever is and always will be fantasia. the 1940 one, NOT the 2000 one.

your [rough draft]: the giver by lois lowry, the harry potter series by j.k. rowling, catcher in the rye by j.d. salinger, cat's cradle by kurt vonnegut, angela's ashes by frank mccourt, all stories by beatrix potter.

your [shade]: i usually answer this question with a simple "green." honestly though, i've come to love all colors. there's so much beauty and intrigue in any shade of every color that it's hard for me to choose just one.

your [inspiration]: it's something new everyday.

words to [live] by: i was just bony hands as cold as a winter pole / you held a warm stone out new flowing blood to hold. ["pink bullets" by the shins] the lyrics to this song always remind me of the importance of letting people enter your life even if you eventually have to let them go. you can only learn so much about yourself on your own.
photo credit: traysaun ballie

you [love]: pooh bear, gaps in teeth, peppermint, writing things by hand, traditional style tattoos, yogurt covered pretzels, cute little nothings, feeling it in your bones.

you [hate]: not being able to fall asleep, coffee, when people are rude, getting shots, self doubt.

your [escape]: lay in bed amidst all the covers and read a good book. sit outside if the weather is pleasant and enjoy the fresh air. eat a peanut butter sandwich. take a really hot shower without actually bathing.

your [origins]: montgomery, alabama, born and raised. it wasn't until i left for college that i really realized how much i appreciate my hometown. in high school i was really tired of seeing the same surroundings and being viewed a certain way because i'm from the deep south. now i love it. i can't wait to travel and move throughout my life and be able to flaunt my southern roots, y'all.

your biggest [challenge]: accepting myself and the changes I have undergone and will continue to undergo.

you wish you could [meet]:  my childhood self. just to tell her to keep on truckin'. I think I would like her a whole lot.

you want to [be]: i want to be lillian and all that she is capable of being. i won't settle for anything less.

 your [wildest] dream:  live in real-life lord of the rings scenario and fight the forces of evil. 

your childhood [ambition]: despite being such a nerdy bookworm of a child, i don't think i ever had one single ambition. i was timid, but i knew that i wanted to be some sort of leader. my parents always told me i would make a great leader.

your most [embarrassing] moment: i can't think of one instance in particular, but i can almost guarantee you it has something to do with farting in public. it's embarrassing me even to type that, haha.

your [pet peeves]: loud eaters, loud breathers, crooked wall-hangings, linty clothing.

your [guilty] pleasure: cookies and cream milkshakes, stumbleupon, british teen dramas, men with foreign accents.

 your [site]: i don't have a blog, although i've thought about getting a blog before. perhaps in the future. I do have a flickr though! 

your [location]: i am currently a freshman at auburn university in auburn, alabama. on of my best friends and i are going to begin looking for a place to live together this very weekend. i'm also going to apply soon to work as a camp counselor this summer. life is simple but so good.

  [surprise] us: i had straight hair until i was 13. then apparently i started going crazy.

[describe] yourself: paradoxical.

lil, you are kind of like a little doll i just want to squeeze all the time because you're so precious.  i love your twinkling blue eyes and freckles and ringlets. just your presence makes me happy. i have laughed harder with you than with just about anyone else -- lunchtime with you at LAMP was the highlight of my day. you are so fun and bright and quirky, but you also display incredible emotional and intellectual depth. you bop through life slightly off-beat, and that's why you are so loved. keep it cool, mi amor.

 you are [delightful].

28 January 2011



the story: riley is a student at samford university, but i met him through our church. i needed a ride one sunday, and this kind soul provided it. we've been friends ever since, which is pretty easy considering he's so friendly. riley's from nashville (with a little australia thrown into the mix) and here's a bit of his story.

your [soundtrack]: "a community service announcement" by jonathan boulet, "you were always on my mind" by willie nelson, "today was fairytale" by taylor swift, "wide eyes" by local natives, "hung the moon" by drew holcomb and the neighbors, "oh you bring" by hillsong united, "i stand corrected" by vampire weekend, "the boat song" by set sail, and others.

your [script]: i like inspirational sports films. i like the lord of the rings. i like secondhand lions and that thing you do. i like movies with ashton kutcher or denzel washington, and i like jane austen films.

your [shade]: i don't have a favorite color because there is a different color for every occasion. i don't really need a favorite color anyway, now that i'm out of kindergarten. 

your [inspiration]: pure love inspires me. it usually makes my eyes cry, or at least moisten.

words to [live] by: if God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all -- how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? it is God who justifies. who then is the one who condemns? no one. Christ Jesus who died -- more than that, who raised to life-- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. who shall separate us from the love Christ? shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? as it is written: "for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." no, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. for i am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [romans 8:31-39]

you [love]: beauty and pizza and joy and vanilla and taylor swift and denim and my mom and imaginative things and music and hot showers and green valleys.

i [hate]: the one who preys on the weak.

i [believe] in: unconditional, unfailing, unassuming, unwarranted, unrestricted love for every life.

your [escape]: i relax in the presence of someone who makes me happy.

biggest [challenge]: i get crushes very easily.

you wish you could [meet]: justin beiber, benjamin franklin, kim kardashian, hermion granger, taylor swift, samuel clemens, MIA, gandalf, dumbledore, mila kunis, john piper, jesus, my  choctaw great-great-great-great-great grandmother and family, roald dahl, ke$ha, zooey deschanel, coco chanel, bill gates, actress in slumdog millionaire, the girl at samford who looks like amy poehler, elvis presley, george washington, my wife.

[proudest] moment: last semester a girl at samford purchased music i had co-written on itunes without knowing i was in any way related to the music or the band. she just discovered it because itunes recommended it to her. this was my proudest moment.

you want to [be]: male version of taylor swift, but better.

your [wildest] dream: i dreamed that i was the slave of two ducks who held me captive in a castle tower. one time after they returned from a voyage, i made them a sincere "welcome home ducks" sign. the kind duck master gave me freedom.

your childhood [ambition]: to play baseball for the st. louis cardinals.

your [pet peeves]: people who say "lol", people who don't respond, addj's (people who never let songs finish in the car), and heaps of others but i'm tired. 

[surprise] us: i wrestled in junior high and retired undefeated.

[describe] yourself: legendary. 

riley, you are a legend, indeed. you often talk about how your brain functions differently from everyone else's. this is definitely true and definitely positive. you are truly one of the most interesting people i know because you defy stereotypes like it's your job. you're everything and nothing all at the same time, and it's extremely refreshing. acceptance, friendship, and love are your specialties, along with mad style and musical talent. you're eclectic and bohemian and a person all your own. i'm glad to know you. keep cheering, mate.

  you are [delightful].

27 January 2011



the story: i went to middle school and high school with kristen. i can't remember exactly when we met, but i know i was so drawn by her great attitude and sassy outfits. we started a highly secretive club in the tenth grade that resulted in many an adventure. sadly, we were parted by our college choices, but she's living the dream at au.

your [soundtrack]: "your song" by elton john, "into the ocean" by blue october, "moonshadow" by cat stevens, "dark blue" by jack's mannequin, "us" by regina spektor, "can't go back now" by the weepies, "dog days are over" by florence + the machine (long before the glee cover), "girlfriend in a coma" by the smiths.
your [script]: the royal tenenbaums, wizard of oz, shawshank redemption, delicatessen.

your [rough draft]: the hunger games series, the bfg, invisible monsters, the chronicles of narnia, nancy drew.

your [shade]: copper has been my favorite color for years. it's metallic yet warm. it's a very charming color.

you [love]: sunny days, mountains, europe, converse, cooking, cranberry juice, and socks.

you [hate]: bathing suits, frappucinos, adult cartoons, carnations, humidity, and mashed potatoes. 

your [escape]: i get in my bed, wrap up in a million blankets and pillows, and zone in front of the tube until i fall asleep. typically, i'm a pretty relaxed lady, so when i do go through these motions, i've had a pretty bad day or was in a hateful mood. and when i wake up from this nap of champions, i always feel like a king.

your [origins]: it's hard to explain my relationship with my hometown of montgomery, alabama, but in the last couple of years i've learned to love its southern culture. 
your biggest [challenge]: following through with my promises to myself. i tend to turn on lazy mode sometimes, which make me lose sight of my priorities. 

you want to [meet]: is it weird to say future me? oh, well. i wish i could meet the future version of myself, mostly so i could give myself advice about things i get confused of worried about now. oh, and zooey deschanel. i wanna be her best friend.

your [wildest] dream: to drop everything and go live in the woods as a recluse. no, really. i would be a full-time survivalist. it would be amazing.
your [pet peeves]: SMACKING. campus trends (i.e. nike shorts), and pointless anger.

your [website]: i used to have a blog. ad then i got two new ones and haven't updated them in forever, but i'm going to eventually.

your [last] purchase: other than lunch, i last purchased a scratch-off map for (my boyfriend) marion's birthday. basically, you scratch off the gold foil that's covering the countries that you've been to... like a lottery ticket. that seems like a really silly explanation, but that's the best i can do. 

your childhood [ambition]: i wanted to be a chef like nobody's business. i watched the food network 24/7, and i said "BAM!" all the time. i guess it was cute. i made some killer strawberry milk, though.
your most [embarrassing] moment: one time, i slid on some gravel and fell on my face during a fire drill. a lot of people saw it.

with the cute little boyfriend.
your [location]: college is perfect for me. i'm at auburn university, and i'm totally in love with it.

[surprise] us: i want a whistle collection. and i get unreasonably jealous sometimes.

you [like]: that i'm almost always optimistic. i love being light-hearted and happy.. it gives me a reason to be positive everyday.

describe [yourself]: COLORFUL.

kristen, you are a work of art -- figuratively and often literally. you are glittery and bright and fun and insanely creative. you have the world's most infectious laughter; in fact, i often leave you with a face sore from smiling. you were just about my favorite part of high school -- you turned everyday into an adventure worth remembering. i love your free spirit, unbridled enthusiasm, and knack for abbreviations. you are a dazzlingly bright spot in my life. keep twinkling, darling.

you are [delightful].

26 January 2011


the story: aaron and i went to middle school and high school together, but we didn't meet until my sophomore (his junior) year. i was in the hallway alone one day, he walked out of a nearby classroom and fell right on his face. there was weird eye contact and stifled laughter, and then we both scurried away. one day we finally talked about it and unknowingly began a significant friendship.

your [soundtrack]: my four favorite albums are tapestry by carole king, the execution of all things by rilo kiley, backyard tent set by caroline smith + the goodnight sleeps, and advisory committee by mirah. right now it's cold, and i like things that sound warm, so things like ray lamontagne and first aid kit and neko case and laura marling are perfect.

your [script]: lost in translation and heathers.

your [rough draft]: extremely loud + incredibly close and everything is illuminated (by jonathan safran foer). they change how one read books and how one expresses everything. my favorite thing was borrowing your copy of everything is illuminated because you had already written so much in it. my other favorite books is no one belongs here more than you by miranda july.

your [shade]: i like mustard yellow and the color of these pants i wear all the time and i can't decide whether it's green or brown.

your [inspiration]: everyone i'm surrounded by. and 90s grunge.

words to [live] by: you cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness. [jonathan safran foer]
look at the sky: that is for you. look at each person's face as you pass on the street: those faces are for you. and the street itself, and the ground under the street, and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you. they are as much for you as they are for other people. remember this when you wake up in the morning and think you have nothing. [miranda july]
you [love]: my brother, getting cards in the mail, and keeping in touch. 

you [hate]: impatient people.

your [purpose]: this over-legitimizes what i do, but to use photography to make people happy by reminding them of things they'd forgotten or didn't notice.

you [believe]: everyone's got a place and everyone has people. it's just a matter of finding them.

your [escape]: bad television. right now it's buffy the vampire slayer season 2 and season 1 of the o.c. and law and order: uk.

your [origins]: i'm from montgomery, alabama. i was never very defensive of it until the past few years, and now i get really offended when people insult the south. there's so much to all of this red dirt that people don't realize.

your [fonest] memory: my sister's wedding. it was pretty recent, only in this past october, but i just remember being so happy the entire time. weddings are wonderful because almost everyone is in a good mood the entire time. i remember thinking that it would be one of the last times for a while that my brother, sister and i would all get to hang out, and it was the best way to say a sort of "goodbye" to them. my other favorite memory is from long before that. i apparently had a lot of trouble remembering which shoe went on which foot, so my mother took my keds and painted lips on one side of the shoes and a baseball and a bat on the other side. when i would put the shoes on the right feet, the lips would kiss and the bat and the baseball would be on opposite sides. i thought she was a genius.

your biggest [challenge]: to not become a cynical person. it's a constant challenge for a lot of people, i think.

you wish to [meet]: jezebel, annie leibovitz, my great-grandmother.

[proudest] moment: i don't really want to pick that yet. i feel like when you pick a proudest moment, you sort of start to compare everything to that, and i want to do such greater things than what i've done thus far! 

your most [embarrassing] moment: i have embarrassing moments on a daily basis. i never know what to say to people i've just met, and i always end up saying an awkward joke or my voice cracks and i make a weird noise or something.

your childhood [ambition]: i wanted to have a veterinary clinic called aaron's ark. really.

 you want to [be]: someone to be proud of, someone who's completely spent at the end of all of this, someone good and memorable.

your [wildest dream]:  to be able to live in a city with people i love, be able to work as a photographer to support myself, own an art management firm.

your [pet peeves]: people who eat loudly.

your [website]: i'm working on a website S Y R U P + H O N E Y right now, which is is going to have most of my photography, sketches and writing on it. i've gotten behind on finishing it since i just moved, but once i finish it i'll expect you to profile and promote it extensively, obviously. until then i have tumblr.com/syrup-honey.

your [last purchase]: some incense, some skim milk, and a ticket to a Lissie concert.

your [location]:  i live in tuscaloosa and am in school here, and i love it. i've got a nice little apartment that's the perfect size for me and i live in the same city as the happiest, best people, and we're documenting all of it all along, all in different ways.

[surprise] us: i'm always fluent on current slang.

[describe] yourself: basic. 
aaron, you are sugar -- something sweet that makes everything a little better. we are blood brothers and soul mates and kindred spirits. you have a beautiful heart and i love every bit of it -- the expressiveness, honesty, compassion, and sass. every memory i share with you is as pretty as a picture, and i treasure each one deeply. you are an artist, an original, and an adventurer. thanks for letting me tag along as you trail-blaze ... and for always driving, of course. i'm glad you fell. stay sweet, honey child.

you are [delightful].

25 January 2011

like a rock.

(professional name used in letters and e-mails: j. pearon)


the story: pearson was the cool, mysterious new kid at school in the seventh grade, and i wanted to know him. bad. he came to my after-school bible study and i offered him a starburst. we were kind of inseparable from that point on. one of my favorite memories is sneaking backstage at baldwin and listening to him play piano. a military kid, pearson moved to turkey after middle school (to my great dismay), and then to san antonio. 

your [soundtrack]: currently, "ravel piano concerto" for the left hand, "scheherazade","howard hanson symphony romantic symphony no. 2", ravel's "daphnis et chloe","bolero," and "sibelius symphony 2." 
as for real music, "he doesn't know" by fleet foxes, "love doesn't just stop" by standard fare, "dark fantasty" by kanye.
your [script]: anything wes anderson. lately i've been into old films like "the great ziegerfeld" and "whatever happened to baby jane." anything genuinely good. 

your [rough draft]: weissenborn etudes, herzburg long tones, and scale studies, and milde etudes and scale studies. i don't read... i play.

your [shade]: grey. it goes with everything.

your [inspiration]: i'll just do what inspires my bassoon playing. fritz wunderlich, luciano pavarotti, ella fitzgerald, patsy cline, judith leclair, and sharon kuster.
words to [live] by: i wrote some spur of the moment in a scholarship application letter that i think are awesome, ahem: "the joy i get from [insert what makes you joyful here] is greater than any paycheck could ever be."

you [love]: BASSOON.

you [believe] in: practicing.
your [escape]: making reed blanks and wrapping them with glitter gluegun glue.

your [origins]: nowhere. i'm a military kid, so i've been from everywhere. i hated it.

[fondest] memory: i used to be in a relationship that stirs fond memories, but now i am eternally single.

biggest [challenge]: balance. there aren't enough hours in the day for me to do everything i want, so sometimes my balance gets out of whack between school, friends, and bassoon.

a portrait of the artist.

you want to [meet]: i'd love to meet certain famous bassoonists, but i'm sure i will eventually, so i'm not worried about it.

[proudest] moment: getting accepted to all the fancy conservatories.

you want to [be]: professional symphony bassoonist.

[wildest] dream: new york philharmonic, philadelphia orchestra, boston symphony orchestra, chicago symphony orchestra, cleveland orchestra, berlin philharmonic. 

[pet peeves]: academic arrogance.

last [purchase]: textbooks and cane.

your [location]: ATX butler school of music. not super happy, but content.

childhood [ambition]: to get accepted to NEC and i did. so check that off.

most [embarrassing] moment: forgetting half my audition material at an audition in houston. mortifying.

[surprise] us: sometimes i walk around campus dressed up in frat great when i want to feel more accepted or respected.

i [like]: my drive.

i [am]: a music-monster. 

pearson, even after over four years of living apart, i still miss you too much. you define unique, and that's an incredibly inspirational trait. you are one of the more talented people i'll ever know -- creatively, intellectually...comedically. thank you for accepting the weird people. i'm a personal beneficiary of that. we share some wonderful memories, and i hope we'll make more soon. keep making music, euphonious friend. 

you are [delightful].

06 January 2011

wise little owl.


the story: she's my cousin, so i couldn't really tell you about the first time we met. i assume it was not by accident, and i bet it was great, even though we were babies.

your {soundtrack}:"horchata" by vampire weekend, "all delighted people" by sufjan stevens (how ironic), "reckoner" by radiohead, "world news" by local natives, "the one i love" by greg laswell, "let you love grow tall" by passion pit, "boy lilikoi" by jónsi, "the girl" by city and colour.

your {script}: v for vendetta, hot rod, inception, garden state, braveheart, timer, a little princess.

your {rough draft}: mark of the lion series by francine rivers (i'm frequently dreaming up the perfect cast for a movie of this that will probably never happen), harry potter series (i'm frequently murmuring "accio" under my breath when i don't feel like moving)
your {shade}: green. i enjoy every shade of it.

words to {live} by: so we do not lose heart. though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. for this momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 
{2 corinthians 4:16-18}
  it is important to recognize the difference between amazement and faith. amazement is a function of the brain. faith is an investment of the heart that transforms the way that we live our lives. 
{paul david tripp}
everything is relative, sometimes. {alex wolf}

your {escape}: a tribute to natalie jehn (my older sister) -- watching a movie while snuggling up at home with a box of little caesar's pizza, accompanied by airhead extremes for dessert.

your {inspiration}: stop and consider the wondrous works of God. {job 37:14}

you {love}: belly laughs, snapple cap facts, meaningful conversations, attempting angelic harmonies, turning to the last page of a book, good company among good friends accompanied by good music. 
you {hate}: talking animal movies/commercials. talking cartoon animals are fine, but there is something so unnatural about real animal's lips being forcefully moved and contorted by technology to speak human languages. for example, babe the move absolutely disgusts me.

your {fondest} memory: i'm going to risk sounding cliché when i say that disney world holds some of my fondest memories.

your {wildest} dream: to discover a mystery spot and build a house on it. google it and you'll understand.

 your childhood {ambition}: inspector gadget and spy kids morphed my still-developing mind into thinking i could be a successful inventor. my first project was to eliminate car crashes by slapping powerful magnets with like-poles onto bumpers. never worked out. 

you want to {be}: samantha brown on the travel channel. she gets paid to travel around to different countries to find the best weekend getaways. not even fair.

your {location}: i'm currently a junior majoring in speech pathology at the university of wisconsin eau claire. go blugolds (our mascot consists of our school colors mashed into one word... creative).

{surprise} us: sometimes when i'm bored i will practice writing with my left and in hopes of one day being ambidextrous. 

your {purpose}: he must become greater, i must become less. {john 3:30}

{describe} yourself: optimistic.

shannon, i have never once known a person whose wonderful attitude remained so constantly unaffected by circumstances. you are consistent, a trait i admire above just about everything else. i've shared some of my favorite and most significant experiences with you, and i can't believe i'm blessed enough to share some of your DNA! you are pure-hearted, sincere, sunny, humble, and hilarious -- you have my heart. keep laughing, my beautiful cousin. 

you are {delightful}.