Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday's Short Films: Eat, Move, Learn

These three films, all shot in a matter of days all around the world, showcase the joy of travelling. I have to say I'm a bit jealous of their awesome adventure. The places they visit are stunning, and the editing is fantastic. Enjoy!

"3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage... all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ....into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films...
                                            = a trip of a lifetime."
Rick Mereki : Director, producer, additional camera and editing
Tim White : DOP, producer, primary editing, sound
Andrew Lees : Actor, mover, groover

These films were commissioned by STA Travel Australia:
Thanks heaps to Adam Fyfe, Brendan, Simon and Crissy at STA.
All Music composed and performed by Kelsey James (
Soundtrack available here: 

Music Recorded and mixed by Jake Phillips 
Colour Grade : Edel Rafferty and Roslyn Di sisto
Online Edit : Peter Mirecki 

Assistance in titles and production design : Lee Gingold, Jason Milden, Rohan Newman

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mid-week Music: Sigur Ros

In all the excitement, I realized I forgot to share a song this week. Sigur Ros is one of those bands that I always go back. Their music is absolutely lovely, and it's fantastic to study to. So, without further ado, here's my favorite of their music videos- Glósóli. Enjoy!

Music video by Sigur Ros performing Glósóli. (C) 2005 Geffen Records

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Engagement Adventure: The Ring

Oh, and I almost forgot-- here are a few pictures of the ring. The diamond is from my great-grandmother's ring. I love the vintage design:

The Engagement Adventure: The Proposal

As promised, the story and pictures for all of you who have been dying to have the details. 

According to a friend of mine, studies have shown a correlation between a child's ability to lie at a young age and the future development of their social skills. Perfectionist that I am, I have surrounded myself with friends with only the most excellent social skills, as evidenced by their exceptional ability to lie to me and sneak around behind my back without arousing a hint of suspicion. Of course, it was one of these friends who told me about this study, so perhaps she shared that tidbit to make me feel a bit better (or maybe this proves those researchers correct?). But long story short, there was evidently quite a bit of planning behind Sunday's adventure, and I was none the wiser.

On Friday, while I was still in Phoenix with my family, I received a text from my friend Daniel about going hiking up on Mount Lemmon one last time on Sunday before he leaves for medical school. This wasn't unusual- Daniel, my friend Hannah, my boyfriend Nate, and I have made Sunday breakfasts weekly ritual, and we've gone hiking and spelunking on many an occasion. It seemed like a suitable sendoff, so I quickly agreed and went on with the rest of my weekend. Upon getting back to Tucson on Saturday weekend, I was a little confused by the eagerness of Nate and Hannah to get me out of the house and over to a friend's for the evening, but since I had already been planning to go out that evening, I didn't think too much of it. We watched a movie later that night at Hannah's and planned to meet for hiking at nine the next day.

I rolled out of bed on Sunday at ten minutes to nine, hair still in braids from the day before, threw on some athletic clothes, filled a water bottle and grabbed a few essentials before we all piled in Hannah's car and headed up the mountain. We hiked out to the fire lookout station on Lemmon Rock at the summit, skipping along the way to keep warm in the surprisingly chilly mountain air. At Lemmon Rock, we stopped to say hello to the forest service living in the station for the summer with his dog.
The friendly fire-spotter
The View
Our Group Photo
Enjoying the view

He was kind enough to take a group photo for us before we headed further down the trail. To my surprise, no one wanted to take the 8-mile loop trail (we're all pretty avid hikers), instead insisting on the shorter Meadow Loop trail. We "had to go to Bobo's" afterward So we took the shorter fork and headed up the backside of the summit through the forest, stopping to take pictures of some unusual trees and let Hannah play around with her fancy new camera. She kept complaining that she didn't see any meadow along the trail, sparking a debate as to what qualified as a "meadow."As the only one uninformed of the plan, I insisted on stopping at the south side of the summit and doing some cliff-top yoga (the only kind of yoga that seems to happen in those Gaiam videos) and eat a snack. We took some silly pictures, and Hannah insisted on taking some couple pictures. I chalked it up to the new camera.

The mossy log
Finally we found the real meadow, and after a few 'frolicking' pictures, Hannah and Daniel took off to look at a tree that'd been struck by lightning while Nate insisted on showing me a "sitting tree" that'd  unfortunately already been occupied by some senior citizens on a picnic. We found a big mossy log to sit on instead and ran into Hannah, who said that Daniel had taken off chasing some sort of wild animal (not unusual for him). I was just worried that this big mossy log might be hiding some sort of creepy-crawlies (bugs and I do not get along so well). Nate has made a regular habit of proposing since about the first week we started dating. It began as a joke (I'm notoriously commitment-phobic) but grew somewhat more serious as time passed. So when he asked as I settled down on the log, "Marry me?" I shot back with, "When are you going to ask me for real?"

He had a shiny ring in a box that seemingly came out of nowhere.
"Marry me?"
"Umm....what do I do now?"
"Put it on?"

No one ever told me what you're supposed to do after you say yes to a marriage proposal. So I put on the ring and said a fumbling "Thank you," smiling ear to ear. And we sat like that together on the sunny mossy log for quite a while until we both realized that it was quite warm and I was probably getting sunburned (which I was). We moved to a more shady log, and I slowly realized that I hadn't seen Hannah or Daniel in quite while, and then realized that they were most likely in on this whole thing and were making themselves scarce, which Nate confirmed. Daniel emerged from the woods a few minutes later with the excuse that he was getting Hannah's Camelbak. Nate greeted him with a thumbs up, and I don't think I said anything at all.

But we weren't done yet. Daniel said that he and Hannah had been waiting up the trail and beckoned us to follow him a little ways to where a lovely picnic was laid out, complete with place settings, fancy cheese, and nice drinks. Hannah claimed they'd "found it." My response was, "I don't understand."

Over our picnic lunch of bread and cheese, lettuce wraps, veggies, fruit, and Hannah's tasty strawberry cake, everything was explained to me. The "hiking kick" that Daniel had been on lately, wanting to "hike all the trails he hadn't yet" in Tucson before he left, was all a ruse. He was scouting proposal spots for Nate. That was what inspired the after-work hikes with Nate and the eight-hour adventure up Mount Wrightson he took with Hannah few weeks ago. That day back at the beginning of the month when Nate was supposedly "playing poker with the guys" (who were all in on it to provide a believable cover) he was actually meeting with my parents in Casa Grande. (Hence why my mother already had a wedding planning book up in Phoenix- I just chalked it up to her being overly ansty.) Our whole community group had been in on it for a few weeks. Two weeks ago, I had woken up distinctly upset with Nate because I had dreamed that he and Daniel and Hannah had gone hiking without me. I texted both him and Hannah about it. Actually, they were hiking without me, on the Meadow Loop up on Mt. Lemmon to do more scouting, but Hannah told me she was having breakfast with a friend and tipped me off to an estate sale in my neighborhood that Nate had actually spotted, which was enough to keep me occupied for a few hours. They also picked up the ring on that day. And speaking of the ring, the diamond is from my great-grandmother's ring, which my grandmother had given to Nate a little while ago. EVERYONE was in on it but me.

So, my friends are amazing liars, and they're also incredibly awesome people that I am so lucky to call my friends. I suppose this is one of the few times in life when this sort of deception is acceptable. And I'm probably one of the luckiest girls in the world to have such outstanding friends and a wonderful fiance as well. So...thanks and I love you all!


Oh, and whoever goes for Hannah has had the bar set pretty dang high. Because she's awesome.

The big beautiful photos were taken by the talented Hannah Morris on her Canon 7D, May 2012, all rights reserved
The little photos were taken by Kara Haberstock, May 2012, all rights reserved

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday's Musing: Keeping Focus

Mountaintop Yoga
All the workout videos say you're supposed to do yoga on mountaintops, or on cliffs overlooking the ocean
First, the big news: I'm engaged! My boyfriend-now-fiance asked me to marry him yesterday, and I said yes. Pictures and story will be forthcoming. I wrote this post over the weekend before all the craziness of yesterday, and even though my circumstances have changed a bit, I think it still fits, so I'm running it anyways. it goes

Focus can be a challenge for me.

I am generally a pretty focused person in the smaller parts of my life. When I start cleaning the kitchen, the kitchen will be clean before anything else happens. I can work on a paper for eight hours straight in a coffee shop until it's done. I tune out just about everything else when reading a book.

But in the bigger aspects of life, focus can be much more difficult. It's much easier to jump from one task to another task instead of actually taking time to look at my life and evaluate how I'm allocating my time. It's much easier to focus on the here and now than anything else. And nowhere does this become more obvious than in my faith.

I want my faith to be the defining aspect of my life. If you asked me I would tell you it was. I would say that Jesus is my first priority. But my actual day to day life doesn't always turn out like that. It's easy to neglect my prayer life, put off the time I spend in the Word, to tell myself that tomorrow I'll have a good quiet time. It's so very simple to draw my worth from the comments my professor wrote on my paper or the affirmation of a friend or the complements of a classmate. My boyfriend's love for me is often so much easier to grasp than God's love for me. My love for him is easier to tangibly express than my love for God is. And it's easier to focus on building that relationship than it is to focus on my relationship with God.

But fortunately, just as it doesn't take more than a few moments to figure out that I forgot to put in my contacts, it also doesn't take long to discover that my life is out of focus. Anxiety worsens. Fears grow more intense. Insecurities creep in. My relationships suffer. Frustrations build. Because as much as it may be easier to focus on the here and now, on the tangible relationships, on friends I can touch and see, none of them can provide what God does. My boyfriend (fiancé) is amazing and I love him to pieces, but he's no Jesus. He can't complete me. He can't give me true purpose. I cannot derive my worth from him. I cannot depend wholly upon him or I will be sorely disappointed. Christ is the one who died for me and gave me life. Christ is the one in whom I find hope and purpose. Through the Spirit I find love and joy and peace and patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. I was created for God's glory. He is my Center: only in him do I find true, abundant life. If I put my hope in human relationships, those relationships will fail-- we humans are fragile and frail, selfish and greedy. Someone will be hurt; whether intentional or not, everyone you love in life will eventually die or leave you. But when my hope is in Christ and my faith is firmly rooted, I can truly love. I can give freely of myself when I am constantly filled by the boundless love of God. When my worth is secure in Christ, I don't have to fear what others think-- I can lay down my guards and enter into genuine, deep relationships with the people around me. As my fiancé and I step toward marriage, we are stepping into a relationship that is meant to mirror the incredible relationship between Christ and the Church. There is no way that will happen successfully unless both of us are first focused on the One whom we are meant to imitate. 

I know this all in my head, but, like most things in life, it's much harder to put into practice in everyday life than it is to put on paper. Tomorrow I will wake up and face another day of challenges. I must choose to discipline myself, to prioritize, and look beyond the easily visible unread messages in my inbox to that which truly defines my life. It's an ongoing struggle, but an absolutely necessary one. So I will struggle on.

[And keep doing a happy dance, because I'm engaged!]

Unartistic Art: Sometimes I get to thinking

Uh-oh- b&w
My mind, sometimes
(New favorite medium: the butcher paper on the table at those restaurants that still give crayons to the big kids)

PS: Take that, fancy waiter who can write his name upside down...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Friday!

Toy Stories by the talented Aled Lewis

My little sister graduated from high school last night! I'm so happy and excited for her as she prepares to go off to college in California. She is so smart and so diligent, and I know she will have amazing experiences and learn so much in the next four years.
After a week of errand running and preparations for my trip to Texas, I'm looking forward to a weekend with family and friends and hopefully some hiking. It is, after all, a three-day weekend. So in anticipation of a lovely long weekend, I have some links for you:

Adorable toy stories

Ways to stay creative

An animal pocket knife

Do you have bangs?

This game is surprisingly addictive

Perfectly summery painted tumblers you can make yourself

Do you suffer from FOBJ? (I do)

I really want to try making this lovely dish

How would you like to have a vertical wall garden?

Amazing sand art

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday's Short Film: Light

This film is absolutely relaxing and mesmerizing, and it positively radiates summer, so I felt compelled to share it. Also, Josh Kerr apparently has some pretty awesome surfing skills. Enjoy:

I'm currently directing Josh Kerr's new signature film due out early next year by RUSTY. We have been filming a lot and just before heading to Australia there was a little run of swell coinciding with great lighting and clean conditions. We shot four days around home during sunset. This short film is comprised of leftover clips during those four days.
LIGHT // The Natural Agent that Stimulates Sight
Presented by Rusty (  
Featuring Josh Kerr (
Music by Apaarat (
Film and Edit by Matt Kleiner (
Additional footage and cover image by Damea Dorsey

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Photos for Wednesday: Desert Beauty

This is the time of the year in Tucson when everyone (who is sane) retreats indoors and only venture out in the cool of the night and for brief periods of scurrying between overly-air-conditioned buildings like the light-phobic creatures that live in that slightly terrifying corner of the garage. But, despite its inhospitable nature, Tucson, even in the ever-increasing sickening heat of almost-summer, can still be quite beautiful, if you dare to linger in the glaring sun long enough to take a look.

All photos taken by Kara Haberstock, May 2012, all rights reserved

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday's Musings: Summer (Life in Limbo)

The road ahead...Central Asian Style

I realized yesterday that this is my last summer as an undergrad, and quite possibly my last summer break ever. No more three month respites. No more long trips abroad or multiple short trips in quick succession. No more blank calendar space teeming with possibilities.

Summer has always been a somewhat strange time. You say goodbye to friends, not quite sure if you'll ever see them again. You pack up bits of your life and scatter them about, some here in Tucson, some at home with family, some tucked in a suitcase bound for some new strange place. You board planes, brave changing time zones and long airport concourses, and hope that your language skills are just a bit better than you think they are. You find a new place to call home, build friendships, navigate new maps, create new routines and traditions. You begin to settle in, find the things you like, make lists of those you miss, try to get comfortable...and then you leave. You return home, wherever that is, not quite the same, and try your best to settle back in while still clutching a few pieces of that short adventure into that once-strange-now-familiar place, adding to that list of places that still feel just a bit like home. You try to add a few of the new friendships to the old, time and place allowing, mourn what is lost, and life continues on as usual. If you're lucky, a bit of wisdom or lessons learned continue to surprise you in the years after that brief journey. Soon there will be a flurry to catch up with friends and family before school begins yet again. Such is summer.

So, here unfolds my last summer, my last undergraduate adventure, this time to the strange and unknown wilds of Texas (ok, Denton, not so wild). It may be a bit more work and a bit less wandering, but either way, here's to hoping for one last great adventure.

Photo by Kara Haberstock, 2010, all rights reserved

Unartistic Art: Life as an International Studies Major

I think that at some point I realized that by pursuing my major I was precluding myself from all future happiness.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Song for Sunday: Of Monsters and Men

I know I've featured them before, but I just can't stop listening to their new album, so I'm sharing some of their music again. "Sloom" is one of many great songs off their new album, My Head is an Animal. Enjoy!

live at Reykjavík Downtown Hostel (Iceland Airwaves)

And an added bonus! Here's a little film about a dog toy that features their song, "Dirty Paws":

Thanks to and, oddly enough, who both helped on this quick little piece. Music is "Dirty Paws" by Of Monsters and Men which seemed appropriate. Slow motion was done with Twixtor in AE CS5. Shot on a GoPro Hero. Black box on the dog's collar is a remote unit used to vibrate if she swims out too far under the GG.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday's Short Film: Incident on Marmot Ave

This short film by Barry Anderssen did a magnificent job of building tension- I must say I was a bit worried. Cinematography is great as well. Enjoy:

On November 12, 2011 the police were called to an incident at 1701 Marmont Avenue. This short film is the story of what happened that night.
William Mapother   Jude Ciccolella   Sonal Shah  Adria Tennor   Greg Hain  Michael Patrick McCaffrey  Hayden Croteau
Director: Barry Andersson  
Writer: Janie L Geyen  
Producers: Mitch Aunger, Janie L Geyen and Barry Andersson Director of Photography: Julien Lasseur  
This project is one of the first narrative films to showcase the Canon 5D Mark III. We are excited to present a project that shows what DSLR technology can do for independent filmmakers at any budget. The entire film was shot on Zeiss CP.2 lenses courtesy of Carl Zeiss (  
Contact Barry Andersson: Contact Janie L Geyen:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Photos for Wednesday: Summertime

Summer means travel, at least for me. And as I'm preparing to start packing for Texas I couldn't help but think back on some awesome trips I've taken in past summers. The first that came to mind was the roadtrip my family took up the West Coast from San Francisco to Seattle. It was amazing and beautiful and so much fun:

From West Coast Summer
From West Coast Summer
Breaking Through
From West Coast Summer

All photos taken by Kara Haberstock, June 2009, all rights reserved

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Living with Lewis: Home

This weekend was filled with graduation festivities and family, first here in Tucson with so many dear friends who just completed their time here at UA, then with my sister in Phoenix in anticipation of her high school graduation (I feel so old!). And all this flurry of celebration and impending change and transition has set me to thinking about many things, but mostly the idea of home.

I still struggle with "home" mostly because I'm not entirely sure where "home" is. It seems that one should have once home, yet I can't seem to name just one. Tucson is "home": I live here, my friends are here, my life is here, my favorite little spots are here, my church is here, I know this city's quirks and tricks. But Phoenix is "home" too: my childhood home, my family, old friends, old spots, childhood memories, familiar places, so many firsts. However I also have this quirk of calling just about any place I reside for more than three days "home." Hotel rooms, crowded flats, shared rooms, village homes with somewhat alarming outdoor toilets have all been deemed "home." And there is a bit of mourning when each is left behind.

And in this mode of thought, Lewis' discussion of affection becomes quite relevant. He writes:
"Affection . . . is the humblest love. It gives itself no airs. People can be proud of being "in love" or of friendship. Affection is modest-- even furtive and shame-faced . . . Affection almost slinks or seeps through our lives. It lives with humble un-dress, private things; soft slippers, old clothes, old jokes, the thump of a sleepy dog's tail on the kitchen floor, the sound of a sewing machine, a gollywog left on the lawn." - The Four Loves, 33-34
For me at least, I would say that affection and home go hand-in-hand. That familiarity, that old, comfortable feeling, that known-ness-- the love, or at least liking, called affection that arises from this creates that feeling of "home."

Living RoomFriendsHome

The soundtrack of soft snores that accompany the second half of nearly any film viewed from the over-crowded family room sofa

The brief sense of loss when the old all-metal, forest green, built-like-a-tank, pain-to-park '93 Land Cruiser is finally put to rest

The short white canine hairs that somehow make the trip from Phoenix to Tucson and three times through the wash

The mysterious thumping and gurgling noises periodically emanating from the hallway closet water heater that may or may not belong to some prehistoric creature

The fourteenth occasion of accidentally hitting that dreadful pothole right in front of the apartment complex

The familiar sound of Dad making waffles in the kitchen on a Saturday morning


The recollection of the bathroom door in a Central Asian flat that could be locked from both the inside and outside and resulting pranks that ensued

The unmistakable grumbling of the garage door signaling someone's return

The warmth of the sun on that one side of the bed on springtime Saturday mornings

The northeast window that never latched quite right

The slide down to the basement of the music building that was supposed to be for pianos and not for people

The gathering of friends around the kitchen table on Sunday morning


These things speak of home

All photos by Kara Haberstock (and friends/family), all rights reserved

Monday, May 14, 2012

Unartistic Art: Tucson is for the Birds

I am not an artist, at least not in terms of drawing skills. But I can draw some pretty good stick figures, and since so many people seemed to enjoy my Russian study drawings, I thought I'd share another little sketch I made:

Bird people
This story is based on real-life events at the Tucson Earth Day Festival

Monday's Musings: Life Is A Group Project

Luce study day
Coffee, Computer, and Russian dictionary
Representative of a good portion of my day-to-day life

I have been described as a workaholic.

My work ethic is very strong and highly (possibly "over") developed. It reasons, "If I work hard enough and/or long enough, this will get done successfully." This ethic has served me quite well in college- my grades have been great and my professors like my work. A good work ethic is generally a good thing. But it can also get me into a bit of trouble.

See, I also struggle with an anxiety disorder. And my work ethic is my ultimate anxiety-fighting security blanket. As long as I am working on something, I'm okay because I'm being productive; there's nothing to worry about. As long as I'm working on that paper, I don't have to worry about it, so I will sit for ten hours straight in a cafe and work on that paper because I can't settle down if I'm not working on it. I manage my anxiety by creating lists of what I need to do and working through that list. As long as I'm working, everything is under control. (Oh, and I'm also a perfectionist, so I will be working until it's as near perfect as I think I can get it, or I hit the point of pure exhaustion.)

Of course, the more I have to do, the worse the anxiety and the work-compulsion get. During midterm paper season I have been known to have a near-panic attack because I took two hours to make and eat dinner when I thought it would only take an hour, which meant that an hour of possible "productive" time. During finals week, my house usually turns into a wreck because working on final papers is a much more productive activity than housecleaning.

Now, I have managed this work-compulsion in some ways. I've designated work zones and rest zones and work times and rest times. I work at coffee shops and at the kitchen table, while work is not allowed into my room. Sundays are rest days, Friday nights are date nights, and on an extended break I'll designate certain days as "fun days." I try not to take any work home with me when I go to visit my family. And I've learned (with some great difficulty) that sometimes the best thing I can do for my productivity is to take a creative break and go outside or do something fun and non-work related. Still, it's difficult for me to go too long without looking for a "productive" activity. This work-compulsion is hard to escape.

What it ultimately boils down to is control. As long as I'm working, I am somehow in control of what is happening. I can rely on my work ethic and my own blood, sweat, and tears to get this done. For someone like me, group projects are pure torture. My most natural tendency is to take charge and do all the work myself, which, of course, defeats the purpose of a group project. And this is a big problem because life is a group project.

Life is a group project. We cannot get through it completely isolated or completely on our own power, like it or not. We need the help of others, which requires the development of relationships, which require trust. Relationships are terrifying for me because they rip away that work-ethic security blanket. Relationships take two people. I could work and work and work and work at a relationship, but if the other person in that relationship doesn't work too, the relationship will fail. To have healthy successful relationships is to trust in that other person and their investment in this relationship without just falling back on my own work ethic.

In my life, my work ethic is often a substitute for ever needing to trust anyone but myself. If I work hard enough, things will work out, I tell myself. But life does not operate in that way. If I constantly work without stop, my life will collapse on itself due to complete and utter burnout. There are many factors in my life that are completely out of my control and that I cannot handle by myself. I need healthy relationships and support from others. I need time to allow my body and mind to relax and recuperate. And these sorts of activities require a temporary step back from the work.

I've written before that rest is an exercise in trusting God. I would add that pursuing healthy relationships is also an exercise in trust (again, relationships take two people). A healthy lifestyle, one filled with times of rest and with solid interpersonal relationships, thus requires a relinquishing of control and a measure of trust in God and other people. And beyond just the health and productivity benefits, this kind of living is more than worth it. Honestly, most of what I am working on now will probably be out-of-date by the end of the year, and these papers and projects will most likely be things I look back on and grimace at my clumsiness and ignorance in a few years. But good friendships, a strong romantic relationship, cultivated professional networks, and supportive family relations will prove extremely valuable. Humans are relational creatures; like it or not, I need other people. And thus I must continue to struggle to keep the work-compulsion in check. Quality work is a good goal, but it's not worth sacrificing everything else.

I have a favorite professor who constantly gets after me for working too much and constantly encourages me to get out of the books and go outside or out with friends. He reminds me that relationships are what really matter and that work should not the most important thing in my life. And I am extremely thankful for people like this in my life because I often need that reminder to put away the computer and the library books and invest in the people around me.

Ultimately, work ethic and diligence are no subsitute for community and conviviality. People are far more valuable than work. And this I must constantly remember.