I'm Melissa. This is where I write things down and share new things. Sometimes I even post cute pictures of cats...

if you're looking for my portfolio,
it can be found here, or by clicking any of the links across the top of this page.

I just moved back to Ohio after living in the central valley of California for almost three years. People still mention that I'm all grown up and keep asking how being an adult is going, but I really don't know what they're referring to.

I'm officially a (self-proclaimed) curator -- OF GIFS. GIF CONNOISSEUR. Check it out. My GIF blog even made it to buzzfeed once.

Albums of note UPCOMING/2011/2010/2009
A list of albums from the year that had staying power. Not a top album list, because I haven't heard every album, so that just seems a bit silly to me -- the whole "of the year" thing... although I suppose in my own mind that's what they are...


a place where I keep things that are already memories and store things that are currently in my life that will inevitably become memories. Vague enough?

Vestiges of a Life Soon Forgotten
A photographic series devoted to images taken in and around my apartment where I lived for 3 years in college. I moved out for good in December 2009.

Photobooth Sketches
photobooth documentation of sketches i have done and/or found.

Monthly Self Portrait Series
This was a short-lived project that sometimes shows up without warning again on my feed, but definately cannot be considered an "on-going" thing.

My New California Life
What started as an essay series about my experiences living on the left coast turned into a general account of my life here -- through words, photos and other ephemera.

jef etters tips of the day
Jef Etters was a colleague of mine who gave me life tips on a daily basis via a telephone call from a rotary phone. I would then transcribe the tips and post them here for the benefit of all mankind. He didn't know what tumblr was (nor does he now), but he did want to share all his wisdom with the world. enjoy.
PLEASE NOTE: Jef did finally get free long-distance after 7pm EST and will occasionally call to give me tips to transcribe. Be on the look out, it'll change your life.

Funny and or poignant things I feel the need to share with the world via screen capture. This project carries on with the luck that the internet will continue to bring the lulz. I think the odds are in our favor.


I met with my realtor today.

That’s right. I have a realtor. I even got to introduce him to Whitney when she showed up for coffee right after we did.

The little blue house didn’t work out, but Eldon (my realtor) is confident we will find something perfect. It may take some time, but we’ll get there.

We met for coffee to discuss what I’m looking for in a house and how the process will go. We discussed the different types of sales currently occurring in this market. We talked about shoegaze and late 90s emo and punk. We talked about counter weights and roof inspections. We talked about architecture and arthop. We talked about counter offers and financing, budgets and not spending more than I should. All in all, I’d say it was an amazing meeting. I mean: we talked about shoegaze for a solid 10 minutes.

Update: I met my realtor for the first time in a bowling alley. IN CEDAR LANES.


Today I’m meeting with a broker to (hopefully) get pre-approval for a home loan. It’s pretty terrifying to look at your life in terms of dollar signs and expenditures. This process made me realize just how organized I actually am when it comes to my important documentation (taxes, insurance and bank statements, etc.) I’m really nervous, but also really excited. I’m learning so much and I’ve barely begun!

Wish me luck!

(Source: icatchfoxes)

On looking at a house:

So this evening I’m touring a house. It’s really adorable and has the potential to be an amazing place to reside. Previously I never imagined owning a house, but with the current market in Fresno and the rent rates (and the career growth/love of my job/new band/etc) it seems like I’ll be sticking around for a little while.

I’m fairly certain if I find a place I can afford and is in a location I like that I’ll be moving in the next few months. I suppose this is a signifier of my growing up? What even? How? Anyway — my plan would be to live there for awhile then let a rental management company take care of getting me tenants whenever I move away/to another place/etc. I guess this is as good a place as any to document my search for my first house.

For the record this is pretty terrifying and weird and in almost all aspects completely unexpected. However, I feel good about it and am pretty excited to be making a solid investment in something that I’ll have for the future.

There are plans for a trampoline in a yard under a tree as well as an amazing hammock. So, that’s something.

(Source: icatchfoxes)

I realize now I’m meant to live good stories.

All I’ve ever been striving for is a really good story. I live my life and make my decisions based off my ability to remember the things I’ve done. I want my life to be something interesting enough to be documented, written down, remembered. Isn’t that all anyone wants? Enough good stories to feel like they really lived? All my life is when I’m gone is a story, and I don’t want it to be something cast to the wind…

I try things. Sometimes I fail. I trust in people who sometimes I’m warned not to, but honestly, those people are the ones I end up keeping around the longest and end up trusting the most.

I make mistakes, I may say no to some stories and some stories may have said no to me, but I keep going and keep writing things down. Nothing is more important to me than that. This is now and I’m busy crafting a tale that I can be proud of, that I would want to share were someone interested in listening.

I want to be better, I want to stay hopeful, I want to travel and explore. I want to meet new people, I want to listen to the weather, I want to fall asleep in new places and wake up every day with wonder. Why would I ever want it to be any different?

(Source: icatchfoxes)

I’m melting.

It might be this music.

It might be this shirt.

It might be these photographs.

It could be all these things.

It could be none;

there’s no way to be certain.

[Why don’t I sleep any longer?]

(Source: icatchfoxes)

[m.olson]: PROXIMITY


Where items are placed in relation to each other is another important gestalt consideration. Proximity relationships will generally dominate over similarity relationships. The strongest control is available when the two are used together.

There are four specific types of proximity relationships that will be studied in this lesson: close edge, touch, overlap and combining.

So similar and proximal. Is half better than none? Probably. I just can’t help but get the sense that the asymptote reference is also fitting in this situation. Never touching. Similar things, symmetrical things, mirror images hurtling through space toward each other only to never be close enough. I hope I’m wrong. I just can’t help but be cynical. I’m not a penguin for crying out loud.

I’m really not a penguin, which is actually a pretty upsetting realization if you think about it.

[this post is from the fall of 2009. I re-read it looking for an old photo this morning and I really felt like this is all entirely applicable still.]

You brought me a dozen white balloons.

I’m still not sure why, but my G-d I hope that look on your face was real: so humble and sincere. Your face told me clearly that your only goal was to make me smile, to bring me joy for even one moment.

Still, there has to be a reason they were balloons, right?

(Source: icatchfoxes)

no matter what happens,

it’s important to remember that the world still has the potential to surprise, amaze and excite me. people are still amazing things, and some are full of wonder, hope and interesting stories.

[keep listening. keep pushing against the ordinary. keep swimming. THIS IS WATER.]

(Source: icatchfoxes)

Crashing through the daylight;

[or a recollection gathered up while driving the 99-S, again. in no particular order:]

  • It’s so much easier for me to wake up early in a room without blackout curtains.
  • The danger is why it’s any fun.
  • Never enough pizza.
  • The trouble of recovering from an upper respiratory infection makes for a good reason to throw a tiny yellow box out the window.
  • I need a better mattress; better sleep is worth it.
  • I’m comfortable liking the things I like; even when others disagree. Guilty pleasures are kind of silly. As Hilary taught me: why should I feel guilty for something I legitimately like?
  • I need more train rides, more plane rides, more bike rides, more rapid city walking…
  • Why are hash browns so much better from a drive-thru window?
  • Sometimes I just don’t care that my phone exists. 
  • My hands make me vulnerable.
  • I should send more postcards.
  • That girl in the quirky glasses, bowler hat and oversized sweater HAD to have been Alexis Bledel. HAD TO HAVE BEEN.

(Source: icatchfoxes)

All of this makes my head hurt. In a good way.

A general list of all the things:

  • I absolutely love bowling. It is one of my all time favorite things and I can never bowl enough. If I ever win the lottery (which I don’t play, so this is completely impossible) I would buy a house just so I could put in lanes.
  • I like to consider myself to be a responsible person in the broadest sense.
  • I take risks and do things that aren’t always considered “safe,” but not in a way that is damaging to myself or others. Most times, it’s the opposite.
  • Sometimes I’m reckless, always I’m ruthless.
  • I have some really good friends here. I love them. All of them. They’re amazing individuals and I’m so so lucky to have them.
  • I have some really good friends far away. I love them too. Even the ones who have chosen to let our communications subside. I still love them. All of them.
  • I dislike drama and have recently decided to try and discontinue my over-analytical tenancies in favor of more listening and more observing the actual events taking place around me.
  • I drink too much coffee, not enough water.
  • I have recently become completely obsessed with motorcycles and the idea of riding them across bridges and/or directly adjacent to the sea.
  • I like how often my camera is in my hands lately. I like it a lot.

(Source: icatchfoxes)

How many times do I need to hear something to believe it’s true?

Lately I’ve been discovering what I really want from a lot of aspects of my life. I can’t believe how clear it has become in the last few weeks and how easy it feels. Being honest with myself has been something I always struggled with, but when I stop worrying and taking into consideration what someone else would do, it becomes clear. I know what I want. I’ve known what I wanted, but made excuses about things because I thought it was what was good for me. Maybe it was. It was. Everything in my past has brought me here, and I regret absolutely none of it. I can’t imagine being anyone else, and I don’t want to be anyone else.

These last few weeks I’ve been told by many (strangers and friends alike) that I have the spirit of someone driven to make a positive change and make it well. It’s been humbling really: the fact that some aspect of myself I’ve been so desperately wanting to be at the core of my being finally is, and others can tell… it’s amazing. That sounds really selfish and boastful, but I just can’t describe how much peace it brings to feel so content with my life and who I’ve become. 

This is moving forward, full speed, cut the anchors and go: keep laughing, keep loving and keep sharing.

(Source: icatchfoxes)

I haven’t been so sad to leave a place in a very long time…

Everyone I spent time with in the last week made me remember why I feel so lucky to come from Northeast Ohio. For so many reasons, I am counting down the days until I can be back in the heavy humid air of my hometown.

Standing on top of a parking deck all alone, watching cars drive by below, closing my eyes and feeling the gusts of wind wrap around me that night really instilled in me the motivation I’d lost. I miss going out to photograph alone, going to learn more about myself without any tether to anyone else. Just me and my camera. I really feel confident after this week that what I want is attainable, and more importantly: it’s something that needs to happen.

Sometimes [read: most times] life is really quite surprising. I got tired of waiting around, so now I’m going to do something. Today I looked at the difference between property ownership and property leasing for retail/commercial space. If you know me at all, you might have an inkling of why I’d be doing such research. If that inkling has anything to do with an idea I became fascinated with 5 years ago, you are correct. Stay tuned, big things are coming in the next few years. I’m only 25 years old, and I’ve got a lot left to achieve.

(Source: icatchfoxes)