Anyone who knows me well knows my obsession with the Dust Bowl, John Steinbeck, Dorothea Lange and Central Valley agriculture, all of which were linked by the events of the 1930s. Ken Burns' Dust Bowl documentary does a spectacular job of telling the story. Above is one of a collection of photos taken by Matt Black chronicling the "new American Dust Bowl" occurring right now in California. Compare them to Dorothea Lange's Dust Bowl photos, and you'll see how eerily similar they are. The Dust Bowl was a harsh and devastating lesson in land management and water use, but even so, experts have predicted ever since that our mismanagement of resources would cause a repeat. They were right, and we're beginning to see just how right.
I've been obsessing over fonts and typefaces recently. Fueling that is this documentary called Sign Painters, which I heard about on 99% Invisible, and which explores the lost art of sign painting and its practitioners. In addition, I just watched the Helvetica documentary, which has been out for a while and I can't believe it took me so long to watch it. All of this, combined with learning more about photoshop, has made me long to take a graphic design course. One day when I have some money saved I will sign up for Bri's Blogshop. That will be the best day.
I started watching Murdoch Mysteries. The first episode was really bad (mediocre acting, terrible writing) but I pushed on because people have been raving about it so much. Plus it's been on for a whopping 7 seasons, so I could only assume it would get better. And it definitely did improve, a lot. If nothing else, the characters are fun and what's more entertaining than crime-solving detectives? I'm on season 2 already, oops.
Radio is my favorite learning and story-telling medium, so I'm just so excited about This American Life's new spinoff podcast, Serial. An investigative story is unfolded week by week, for as long as it takes the journalists to get to the bottom of the topic at hand. This first season documents Sarah Koenig's investigation of a murder that occurred 15 years ago in Baltimore. So far it's absolutely enthralling, and Sarah's journalism is phenomenal, as always. The third episode came out today and I'm going to listen to it in the bath tonight! (As I do.)
I wouldn't have tried NatureBox if Tyler Oakley hadn't given me a free sampler box. And I really wasn't planning on going forward with the paid monthly subscription. But you guys, these snacks are the real deal. They're creative, delicious, have cute names, and they come in a pretty box with pretty packaging. The ingredients are simple and recognizable but the snacks aren't like the gross health food snacks you might think of -- they are crunchy and flavorful and everything you want in a good snack, fulfilling your snacking urges, but in a healthier way. Earlier this evening I browsed all possible snack options and there are so many amazing ones: guacamole bites, asiago and cheddar crisps, sriracha rice crackers, french toast granola?? I can't wait to get my next box.
And finally, I bought a Wreck This Journal. I first heard about it from Bunny, but for a while I resisted buying one because I felt like I was probably too old (I totally would have loved doing something like this as a youngster). But after seeing the cool stuff people do with their journals, I decided it would be a helpful way and a good excuse to do more art. So I've been spending hours with my journal the last couple days and I've been having so much fun. And after using the hashtag #wreckthisjournal I discovered all kinds of Instagram communities (like here and here) where people post their creations. Super fun!