Mariah Paz, San Francisco based lifestyle and music photographer

Tuesday, 16 May, 2017

Photo by Mariah Paz

Mariah Paz is a San Francisco based lifestyle and music photographer, who spends a lot of time taking photos at live performances.

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What’s it like being a landlord? A veteran of two decades tells all

Wednesday, 15 February, 2017

Considering an investment in property? A residential dwelling perhaps that you could rent out? US journalist Tom Chiarella was a landlord for two decades, leasing out apartments, and retail spaces, within a building he co-owned with several other people. You really ought to read this.

People will flush anything down a toilet. Curlers. Popsicle wrappers. Combs. I’m not saying they do it on purpose. Maybe they didn’t notice the jet-black comb on the blazingly contrasting white porcelain floor of the toilet bowl. Maybe they just flicked the handle and down it went. Accidents happen. But when you’re the one kneeling on a damp bath towel on a Wednesday afternoon, fishing around in a toilet with a thirty-foot snake, I’m telling you: You see some stuff. Poker chips. Warning labels. Handfuls of expired vitamins.

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Skiing and hip-hop, that’s the fountain of youth for John Shocklee

Wednesday, 8 February, 2017

At age 51, John Shocklee looks to have found the fountain of youth, through combining his passions for skiing, with hip-hop music. Shocklee, a ski guide, lives the life of a backpacker – someone half his age – and calls a hut with a floor area of sixty-five square metres, home.

With Peter Pan as a role model of sorts, he aspired to never grow up, or to lead the sort of lifestyle most other people his age do. No, it’s not for everyone, but if it floats your boat, then do it, I say.

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On leaving an old life behind, and starting anew somewhere else

Wednesday, 18 January, 2017

Running from a problem never solved anything. Or so they say. The maxim probably holds true most of the time, but, as they also say, there are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes you simply have to get up, and get out of a situation.

It might look like running, but to some, it is a solution. Some problems cannot be solved, some people cannot be reasoned with. But is jetting off into the unknown really the answer? Wouldn’t that just give rise to a whole set of new worries?

Possibly. But they may only be temporary. In any event, it hasn’t stopped people trying. People have uprooted themselves, for whatever reason, from one life, and succeeded in establishing themselves, often alone, somewhere else.

In Prague, everything from the street signs to the grocery shops felt alien. Sarah kept a low profile for the first few weeks: holed up with a book, rarely leaving the flat alone, eating takeaway from the KFC downstairs. But before long she found a babysitting job that paid cash-in-hand, giving her the confidence to explore the city and pick up the language. By the time her three-month tourist visa expired, she felt happier than she’d ever been and decided to stay on illegally.

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Burning Man. 2016. Highlights. Hyperlapse video

Monday, 12 September, 2016

The Burning Man Festival, sometimes described as an experiment in community and art, held annually in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, has just wrapped up. The gathering that attracts upwards of sixty-five thousand people, sees participants combine in numerous artistic endeavours over the course of the week that the event runs.

This hyperlapse video looks like it captures the highlights of this year’s festival. Safe for work, in case you were wondering.

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How do you spend the day? A day in the life of the rest of us

Thursday, 8 September, 2016

I spent a little more time than I should have, reading this MetaFilter thread about how members spend a typical day. It may seem mundane, but it’s also many parts fascinating.

This paragraph from quiet_musings‘ description of workday mornings resonated with me. The scramble to get out the door to work. Or through the door of the other room, to where my work setup is.

Once I get up, my morning is a panicked blur of scrambling to get out the door. It goes something like this: put in contacts, use bathroom, panic. Take shower, dry off, attempt to find clothes, panic. Scarf down Cheerios with granola and almond milk, gulp a few vitamin pills, panic. Throw water bottles into my purse, toss in an apple sauce cup (religiously forgetting the spoon,) panic. Argue with myself that there’s no time to apply makeup. Apply makeup anyway. (Just mascara.) Some days, literally run to my car, look at the display to see what time it is, panic.

Thankfully I don’t have to commute at the moment, that’s all I can say.

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A broken watch is right twice daily, the Now watch is right all day

Monday, 5 September, 2016

NOW Watch, by

If a broken watch is right twice a day, how about a watch that doesn’t tell the time at all? Depending on your outlook, a watch that simply tells you now is the time, might be all you need.

Designed by Texas based entrepreneur Micah Davis, the Now – for want for a better word – timepiece, is intended to remind the wearer to slow down, and live in the moment.

Even though I’m not a watch wearer, it could be I need one of these. And they’re stylish as well.

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There’s the Paleo lifestyle, then there’s really living Paleo like

Friday, 2 September, 2016

Paleo foods served at certain cafes may be the closest most of us come, or think we come, to stone age living. For others though, there is no holding back, only total immersion, latter day hunters and gatherers, who go into the wilderness, and live primally, for extended periods.

Indigenous photographer Kiliii Yuyan recently accompanied members of the Stone Age Living Project, and documented their way of life, when he spent a month living with them, as they as lived as hunters and gatherers.

Yuyan has spent ten years involved with a group of 21st Century hunter-gatherers, a movement called the Stone Age Living Project. Their aim is to return to primitive living, away from the modern age. In the summer of 2014, Yuyan embedded himself with the group for a month, for which they had spent six months in preparation. They tanned hides and collected and dried foods in anticipation of the month ahead. During the month itself they hunted, “strained [their] way up scree slopes in bloodied bare feet”, and lived primally. Yuyan chose to carry a camera rather than a weapon, and with it he recorded their activities.

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Need to make a tough life choice? Then toss a coin. Seriously

Tuesday, 16 August, 2016

This is interesting. If you need to make a choice, say whether to leave a job, or move to another city, but are undecided as to how to proceed, then toss a coin. That’s it, toss a coin. If heads is for yes, and that’s what comes up, then go ahead and resign, or prepare to leave town.

This is the advice that US economist Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, dispensed to people who didn’t know what way to go on a choice, through his website. When people who had accepted the coin toss outcome were contacted several months later though, more were found to be happier than those who had not.

The people who committed to a course to action, albeit through the mere flip of coin, made a real change in their lives. Those who did not presumably stayed put, and wallowed in their indecision, and lack of action.

Doing what the coin said seemed to really matter. Levitt thinks he knows why. The people who did changed more often than the people who did not. Left to our own devices we’ve an inbuilt bias against change. Yet more often than we realise it’s the best thing we can do. Levitt’s no counsellor (he leaves that to his machine) but his advice would be that it’s often worthwhile taking a leap into the unknown – far more worthwhile than we think.

It brings to mind the line from the 1999 spoken word song, Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen, produced by Australian film director Baz Luhrmann, “your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.” Exactly what the flip of coin is.

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If you can’t live on an island, you could live on a homemade island

Tuesday, 16 August, 2016

So, you’d like to live on an island, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t? Only problem though, you can’t afford to buy one. Well, you wouldn’t be alone there. What to do then?

You could take the route that artists Catherine King and Wayne Adams took, who came to the realisation that they’d never be able to afford to buy real estate. Instead, they built the real estate themselves, and hitched their newly constructed home to the shores of a small island in Freedom Cove, on the west coast of Canada’s Vancouver Island.

They’ve been there for near on twenty-five years, so clearly the way of life agrees with them.

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