Sunday, February 28, 2010

[diary] another day cloudy memory

day 59: another day cloudy memory

This is actually a real diary. Mine, in case it wasn't obvious. At least, now it's mine. I just finished all the pages in my old diary (this is the first time I've ever completed a whole book!) so now I'm starting on this one...

It's vintage-y and my cousin bought it for me in Seoul when I was with her :)

a night at the supermarket

day 58: the empty aisle

So I haven't gone to the supermarket in ages. Well, Giant and Grand Mart, that is. So I decided that I'd attempt to fulfill my dreams of shooting in a supermarket at these two places. I wasn't that happy with the way things turned out since my aunt obstructed each shot by saying that I might get sued by the supermarket for taking photographs, but I did manage to sneak a few in.

The first thing I did when I set foot in Giant was make a beeline for the magazine section, lol. Guess which magazine I first laid eyes on?

And Grand Mart was terribly empty, a shell of its former bursting self. At least it played awesome music, though. I mean, you can't go wrong with Bee Gees.

Well, that was my night.

Friday, February 26, 2010

[diary] week 8

Hi all!

1) Issue 5 came hit the stands today! I hope you've all read it/parts of it??
2) I'm really tired.
3) I had a pretty amazing day today.

If you're reading this via Facebook note, click here to view the original post in high quality.

day 51
day 51: N. Lynn St.

hello kitty!

day 52
day 52: Opus 23

day 53
day 53: band of outsiders

day 54
day 54: dream

day 55
day 55: V for Vogue

day 56
day 56: wild woman miranda's favorite pastime

day 57
day 57

My favorite is day 56. Yours?

And, keep in mind what I said earlier in the week about casting people to 'model' or help out with shoots, because I'm thinking next Saturday might be a fine day to get together for a shoot!

You don't have to, but if you read the posts which I marked as "diary" you would probably be able to understand why I shot some of the photographs that I have done. Or, simply visiting each photo's page would suffice in that matter, too, for the most part.

Ah, it's been a tiring week, BUT, ISSUE 5 came out! WOOHOO! What did you guys think of it? Seriously, if you think something was bad, tell me. If something was good, tell me. It doesn't have to be about my story, it can be anything about the issue, but I'm curious to see how all of you considered the newspaper.


P.S. As you can see, I am obviously playing around with titling my weekly photo updates as either "photography" or "diary". Which seems to fit this type of post more?

[diary] beautiful strangers and people alike

Today was a...very... I-can't-describe-it-in-words sort of day. In a very good way.

I laughed more than usual today. I mean, a lot. I was laughing at everything, every little thing, every random thing. We were doing high knees in gym for warm up and I thought it was funny that I misheard and started jogging. I laughed so hard when Mr. Williams barked at us to skip. I felt light headed--the feeling you get after laughing too much, I guess, in a sense, I was high. And what caused that?

Probably newspaper. It was absolutely wonderful today--issue 5 hit the stands. Ah, that's right, I have to post my story/column online, too. And write something for online. But anyhoo, today was fantastic, simply said.

This morning started out terribly. For one thing, I didn't sleep until 4:30 a.m. (which has been the case for the past two weeks). And I woke up feeling terrible, couldn't concentrate in Algebra and absentmindedly took notes while the teacher drilled forward in her lesson as my head bobbed up and down, my eyelids fluttering every other waking moment. Chemistry wasn't much better, as we had a quiz which I totally BS'ed the first five problems on. I think there were fifteen in total. Oh well. I could really care less seeing what happened to me afterward--newspaper and andromeda.

Cutting to after school, I was a bit anxious about going ad selling with Andromeda. I mean, it's selling ads, but psh, I can hold my own (or so I somehow half-convinced myself). So we split into two groups after my EIC made references to this movie about a guy named Hal, and my group consisted of C, K, and my EIC. (It sounds so shady to just use abbreviations, but whatever, I don't know if they'd like having their names here). C is a cool junior, K is one of my best friends, and my EIC is, well, crazy amazing.

I would love to elaborate about every little thing, but I suppose that would bore you, so let's just cut to the chase...

We went to Reston Town Center (with some of my internal-GPS skills) and parked across from Obi sushi, which happened to be on the other end of Potbelly, which is where my life took a turn, and yeah. So let's just fastforward about 45 minutes after walking in the bitter cold around the town center, still unsuccessful in completing our business transactions (ad selling), and we found ourselves in Potbelly ordering subs/sandwiches. I ordered a Meatball, just saying.

And somehow, as we were leaving, and my EIC took note of two women diagonal from us, who seemed to be sketching, she suggested/stated that I should approach them. It was absolutely bogus, and I of course tried to decline though I inwardly really wanted [to approach the two strangers], and with a little figurative and literal nudge from my EIC, I found myself talking to the two women, who were conversing with each other in a language I didn't understand (yet I found it mesmerizing), and I find that they are sisters and apparently meet with friends from time to time to just sketch and doodle!

It was beautiful; the sketches, the two sisters (yes, they're sisters!), art, a shared interest...passion. And just meeting and seriously approaching the two perfect strangers was very beautiful. Something I've seriously always told myself that I ought to do whenever I go out but never managed. And with a push and the influence of my [amazing] EIC, things happened. Wow.

What can I say, how can I say enough to convey my delight?

I sound like some writer from the Victorian age or something--the gaiety in their speaking (unabashed and expressive happiness, not homosexuality.)

Well, whatever. I hope that you all realize how much of an inquisitive person I am, and how much I crave meeting people, beautiful people (either literally or figuratively). It sounds totally weird, and you probably think I'm weird, but I don't really care because right now, I still haven't recovered from disbelief at what happened today/what I did today:

1) Approach two strangers and exchanged contact info after being invited to sketch with them even though we had only talked for less than five minutes.
2) Tromping in the bitter cold with K, C, and my EIC at Reston Town Center and learning about life. Living the life.
3) Newspaper, newspaper, newspaper, issue 5, issue 5, issue 5.
4) While waiting for my aunt to pick me up around 5 p.m., as I was still in the gym lobby, I didn't speak to these people, but for the first time, it occurred to me that soccer is very fascinating. There was this person who I didn't recognize that was very gracefully maneuvering the ball through the hallway and was joking with a bunch of what I thought were her friends about how she didn't make the team :( and all the while continually keeping control of her soccer ball. >_>" It sounds so freaky of me, but I just really take notice of little details and little things and I really find them absolutely fascinating. And after a while, perhaps half an hour of just sitting there listening to the people chattering about soccer this and the prejudice Latinos faced, the girl with the soccer ball left, all the while still kicking the ball. She never picked it up once, it was amazing. But while she was on her way out the door, she turned around and asked one of the guys, "What's your name?" and I don't even remember what he said but, wow. It's amazing how strangers can connect over something and disregard that they don't even know each other.

If only the world were like that.

But really, today was a very happy day for me, and although my aunt just hissed to me that I should drop newspaper since it doesn't mean a thing and that I should concentrate on SATs instead, I suppose I will have to log off before she can say anything else about it.

I can't give up newspaper, not on my life. I can't give up anything in this life, and I'm going to keep what I've gotten, and this day is a day to be remembered.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

[diary] Wild Woman Miranda

Today my English teacher referred to me as "Wild Woman Miranda." And added that I'm the one that likes to look at "ads in fashion magazines."

I suppose I've become quite notorious for a little social experiment I performed during English class (I basically showed people ads and editorials from fashion mags, gauging their reactions) and subsequently for writing a column related to it.

But I laughed when she called me "Wild Woman Miranda." I don't know what exactly she thinks of me when she says that (does she think I'm the typical reckless youth?) but I took it literally, replying, "I am wild." She chuckled and said a few things and that was that. But it made me smile from ear to ear. You see...I don't really consider myself a docile, timid girl. The stereotypical shy Asian girl is far from who I really am, in my opinion. I consider myself, well, wild.

Wild often seems to have the tendency to be synonymous with "bad" and all that.

One evening, when I was lagging outside hoping to shoot a night photograph, my aunt said exasperatedly, "why have you turned so wild?!" because apparently if you're an outdoorsy/like the outdoors type of person, that means you're wild is what she's implying. But I took no offense--it was true, really, I am a wild child/woman/whatever. The point is...

Like it or not, but, I'M WILD and I love it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

i wish i could dance

Does that sound funny coming from someone like me? I don't really think so, actually.

I wish I could dance.

Dancers and people who can dance (but aren't necessarily dancers, if that is possible/makes sense) fascinate me.

And even more than that, I simply wish I could dance excellently so I could bust out some moves whenever I felt like it instead of holding back and being afraid of exposing my lack of dancing ability.

It happens so often--a song will just take me away, and I'll want to start grooving (especially if it's a dance-y song).

Aside from that, though, let's talk about music and today.

"Isn't she lovely" by Stevie Wonder is well, absolutely lovely. Do you ever have a time when a song just really pops into your head all of the sudden? This is what took hold of me as I hopped off the bus this afternoon (about ten minutes ago).

And this morning, I had the song "We Walk" stuck in my head. Yeah, the Ting Tings. Right when I woke up. It's not unusual for a song to be playing in my head right when I wake up, actually. It happens quite frequently. So when I hit the road, headed for my bus stop, I listened to "We Walk" as I was, well, running to catch the bus. The irony.

Someday I'm going to dance, I'm going to dance all the way to the bus stop, through the hallway, around the house. It'll be funny, it'll be outrageous, it'll be so fun.

And this is rather offhand, but I've always imagined that if songs could describe people, my song would be "I Go Deep" by Jim Rivers.

Here's the video via YouTube:

Monday, February 22, 2010

i met the geese in the snow

Dear diary,

I knew today wouldn't be as great of a day as I hoped for. When I woke up with my mom announcing that it was 6:47, I literally muttered, "I'm fucked." And indeed, I am. So I get to school late, and honestly my Algebra teacher made me feel a bit miffed/offended when she told me to get out the temporary seat I was sitting at and go to the front and corner seat with a bunch of people I don't know. You see, today was the day we got to choose are seats, and lucky me, I arrived late and therefore had no choice. I can't even begin to explain how conflicted I felt as I shuffled over to my new seat in the corner. The rest of the Algebra class, I made it a point to glare constantly. At the board, at my papers, all that, to convey my dissatisfaction. I thought I'd burn a hole in my paper just from the murderous glare that I cast at it. And I also realized I got an average of 14 out of 20 on all three quizzes that my teacher passed back. What a great way to start off the school day...

And in Chemistry, because I was grouped with an overly uptight OCD kid (I sound mean, but he was being really, really picky) along with three other people that were pretty chill, but OCD kid? He kept on insisting that we redo the experiment every fucking time someone accidentally (I think) added more drops than prescribed into the conductive solution we were testing with LoggerPro (computer/probe). We redid the experiment three times. And what happened? We didn't get a thing done. And the worst part was that he acted so stricken and distraught about inconsequential little things. Now I have to freaking do the lab on my own when we could've gotten results in class. I don't know who/what I feel sorry for.

Newspaper...was good. I can't think of anything bad to say about it, thank goodness.

P.E. - pacer. Actually not that bad aside from me feeling like I had lived in the arid desert for about a billion years. I was so thirsty.

Right now, I have to do these for tonight's homework:

  1. AP World Chapter 32
  2. Thesis 4 and 6 for AP World
  3. Approximately 100 pages of Dracula

Okay. That was my day.

But oh wait!

When the bus dropped me off on the corner of the street to my neighborhood, I passed by the reservoir (which now has a thin layer of snow and mud) and saw a flock of Canadian geese. It was a nice sight and obviously I'd never let an opportunity like this pass up with my camera, so I had it ready and snapped a couple shots. The only downside? Didn't have enough memory. AND it was drizzling. And I was tromping in snow with my new Nikes D: But ah well. All for the photograph.

day 53: band of outsiders

Sunday, February 21, 2010

[me] inspiration

I'm easily inspired. I'll hear a song and it'll become the theme of my imagination for a day. I'll see a single photograph and there'll be fifty different stories and scenarious stemming from it in my mind. I'll look at the sky and I'll feel sad just because it's so breathtakingly beautiful, or in awe because it's so grand. I'll just sit and hear the ticking of the clock and it will become an element of a photograph I take later on.

And then, sometimes I'll be down in the drain, frustrated, sad, angered, all that, like I have been for the past two days. And then I'll just hear a song, like Opus 23, or wake up realizing it's 1 in the noon, and it'll empower me. It'll make me breathe steadily, bring life back into my eyes, take away the aching, make me forget defeat. I'll make spontaneous decisions, however absurd they might seem, like today.

Today, I heard Opus 23. And later, I feel like today's a pretty nice day. And then I'll look at the stunning sky and decide all of the sudden:

"Today I'm going to be happy."

I make those decisions and statements a lot. And then I become totally absorbed with making them come true, making them what I want them to be. So I will be happy.

day 52: Opus 23

[style] black is the new red

hello kitty!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


  1. You, listener.
  2. You, friend.
  3. This, life.
  4. This, world.
  5. That, girl.
  6. That, guy.
  7. My, camera.
  8. My, dreams.
  9. Our, memories.
  10. Our, future.
I don't know if you understand, if you'll understand, but I just want to say that you mean a lot to me, that I am very grateful for you being here for me, for having listened to my musings and rants, for being a friend, for being here, for being you (even if it might not always be the 'real' you).

Sometimes you make me feel empowered, you make me feel a great rising in myself, a soaring feeling of absolute happiness. At moments, when I find myself alone, and you reach out to me, I feel like I could die (figuratively) in gratitude.

Even if you feel like we're not close, or not as close as before, or if you don't really know me that well, don't worry. I think all you need to know is that I am very happy, very grateful that you are here. And even if you don't have any of those qualms, I say the same.

I know this note might seem really sudden and strange, but it's actually something I've always wanted to let you know, if you didn't realize already. I'm just telling you what I've always been grateful for. I'm just hoping you understand that I always look at the world and see something mesmerizing about it, something mesmerizing about you, people.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

[photography] stagnant crisis. enlisting help of camera-loving people who are not afraid to do craazzzyy things.

I've been feeling, for a while, impatient with my photography. Definitely unsatisfied.

I look at my photographs. Sure, they're interesting here and there. But where's the grabber? What about it will make someone remember it, make someone backtrack, do a double-take?

My photographs, I have to admit, are boring.

They're stagnant.

Nothing happens in them.

It's just a still scene.

Nothing happens.



The fact that my photography is starting to bore me, to frustrate me, is well, frustrating. I've decided that I need action. I need movement. I need something that isn't still. I need objects, subjects and themes that you don't find everywhere, things that aren't mundane. I need something extraordinary. I need to grow past the stage of stillness.

My photographs can't just stay in the same level. But right now, I can't feel them progressing. I need to grow, I need to raise my photography. I feel uncomfortable this very moment knowing that I can and need to do so much more with my photography.

I don't know how I'm going to do this, but I'm going to start including more compelling shots, of people, of things you would not see usually. That requires work on my part. First, approaching people. Second, getting consent. Third, putting the whole photoshoot together. Fourth, making magic.

The greatest thing I need to work on is thinking beyond myself, being different, and not being afraid of what people think about me. I especially stress the part about not being afraid of the way others look at me. Imagine going to the supermarket and seeing a girl in an aisle with a camera doing some weeeirrrddd stuff. Imagine driving past a girl who's leaping like a lunatic on the sidewalk. Imagine walking past a girl on your daily stroll who's snapping away furiously at a mailbox or a weed in the grass.

I've done some pretty weird things before (I don't think it's necessary for me to say what) in public just to get a shot, and nothing entirely bad has ever really happened to me and I've never had a person point fingers and gasp at me, so I suppose that it's okay, right?!

So here's my agenda:
  1. Enlist people. It'd be great if you weren't camera-shy, it'd be great if you can handle awkwardness like a pro, it'd be great if you can be comfortable doing craaazzzy things, trust me. And it'd be great if you could be free on weekends or after school.
  2. Make magic.
  3. Rinse and repeat.
So who's in? (And by the way, limited to Northern Virginia area).

And even if you don't want to be a 'model,' you can always help me find interesting places as locations for shots, or interesting tidbits that might find their way into my photographs, somehow.

But yeah. Anyone interested? And I am completely serious and your photograph will be absolutely lovely on my Flickr.

Friday, February 19, 2010

[photography] week 7

Hello everyone.

Quick announcement before we get started:

I'm thinking going to interview some people that I find interesting and post the interview on my blog. I was inspired by yuli sato's blog. I had this idea all along but never thought about actualizing it. Now I'm really determined to do it. Now who shall I interview...

day 43
day 43: i wish i knew pablo picasso

day 44
day 44: lion dance

day 45
day 45: come and go

day 47
day 47: crossing the Styx

day 48
day 48: Sköll and Sol...wait...I'm mixing it up...Countess Dracula.

day 49
Read more about this day at my Tumblr.

day 50
day 50: chipotle

If you observe, this week, according to my photographs, started on a pretty cheery note. And then, in between, things went eerier and darker, both literally and figuratively. And then it ends peacefully.

My personal favorite is day 48. Do you have a favorite?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

[fashion] the size issue

The very first thing we all think about when we think about models is probably that they're thin. THIN. But lately, there's been all the buzz about size--you know, V Magazine's "Size" issue, and most recently, two articles that have something to do with one of my favorite models, Coco Rocha. So this morning at 3 a.m., while I should've been doing homework or sleeping, I was instead prowling The New York Times Fashion & Style section as usual as well as Coco Rocha's blog, Oh So Coco. I found that one of my favorite fashion journalists, Guy Trebay, wrote an article in regards to Ms. Rocha (and other people's reactions) dealing with the size standards of the fashion industry. Then, when I got home and checked my Twitter feed, I discovered that the NY Daily News also happened (well, I doubt it's coincidence!) to deal with the size issue, stating that because Ms. Rocha is a size 4, the fashion industry's demands for her have waned.

Oh, good grief. Just what is considered acceptable nowadays in the fashion industry? Well, according to the NY Daily News, it's a size zero. I don't really know if that's veritable, but if so, I don't know what to say. So a size four is fat? (I think to myself: I must be overweight in that case! But then again, I'm not a model.)

I don't have much to say about how the fashion industry is calling for size zeroes, or people less than a size four, but my intentions of writing this is to analyze, err, question how/why the fashion industry's size standards are progressing towards even thinner and thinner models. Why is it? What happened to the = curvaceous models of earlier eras? I'm not saying that the models nowadays that are really thin or size zeroes don't look good, but where did the more voluptuous, wholesome models go? Why aren't they in the business anymore? Or, the ultimate question, once again--why is the fashion industry generally seeming to demand thinner and thinner models, excluding the models that do not meet the size standard anymore? Also, as Ms. Rocha mentioned to Guy Trebay in A Models' Prospect: Slim and None, we can observe that the industry is calling upon girls rather than women: "And the latest crop of models is not made up of “adults or even sort-of adults,” she insisted. “They are children. Point closed.”

What has caused this change in the type of model that the fashion industry seeks, and when exactly did this pattern begin?

EDIT: Ms. Rocha says that the demands for her have not waned, so, never mind what NY Daily News said.

Monday, February 15, 2010

the world beyond the window

Dear diary,

I accidentally pulled on the shutter to my window and it flew up, revealing the world beyond my little room.

Light plunged into my room, lifting the gloom. I think I woke up at that moment as my eyes gazed outside, observed the white sky and the snow descending.

Light and lighting is so important, so precious. It controls an aesthetic quality of our life and photographs.

Beyond the enclosed space I'm hunched in, a serene, undisturbed world lies in wait. I peer out, and look down from my perch. A tree bent over from the weight of snow, its boughs touching the ground, its spine arching. Thin, willowy trees swaying in the wind, the sound of an unseen aircraft in the distance. And the snow still falls steadily, gently, beautifully. I find that it is impossible to look at snowfall and think badly of it. In fact, I feel a little guilty of having announced that I grew tired of it a week ago.

Whiteness everywhere. Light. It's nice.

The more I stare at the snow, the more lost I feel, and the better. It is hypnotic. Holding me in a trance as I watch its constancy, I feel like I could forget everything--all the sorrow, all the troubles, everything.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year!

So, everyone, this is a bit late, but I hope you've celebrated/will celebrate/etcetera. Yesterday night I went to a banquet and did not return until, well, a very late hour, but here's a photograph in celebration of Chinese/Lunar New Year. (It's not only Chinese people who celebrate, I'm sure).

day 44: lion dance

So, what are your plans in general for today/this week?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

[photography] i wanna make a picturebook, literal/literally.

T-shirts have been the norm for me since goodness knows when.

For the past two years, skinny jeans have been a staple. Purple ones, too.
i love the color splash
Also flannel shirts. But that doesn't make me a 'hipster.' Don't argue that.
day 5: bent over
Colors have spilled into my wardrobe.

Ah, there's a lot of pink, and other variations of red.

Oh. Meet my pink and red beanies, woolly hats, and more hats (I've still got more hats everywhere). Somehow, just like how color (especially red/pink) has slipped into my wardrobe without my knowing, hats have, too.

I used to dislike hats. But now? I don't mind them. Not one bit.

Things change. But you know what? Some things still stay the same. Like the color black (and white).
day 21: full of it
Like a stare.

Like a smile.
Because i am...

day 29: i. am. happy!
Oh yeah. The laugh stays, too.

[photography] week 6


And guess what? Complete set again! I didn't miss any days!

day 36
day 36: walking the dog

day 37
day 37: the ghastly apparition without legs

day 38
day 38: it runs in the family

day 39
day 39: donna

day 40
day 40: haggard

day 41
day 41: caught ghosting

day 42
day 42: moody

And I have some goodies for you... I have like... 50 more non-365 shots...

the secret room
the secret room


do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?

And of course, if you've got any ideas for me, let me know!

More at my photostream.