Tuesday, March 30, 2010

[fashion] floral prints (and pants) are freaking fantastic

So obviously I am pro-floral. To prove the greatness of it, here we have three examples of their brilliance put to work:

Sasha Pivovarova

Abbey Lee Kershaw

*Images of Pivovarova and Kershaw via Altamira

Anja Rubik


Floral prints (and pants) are freaking fantastic.

Curious for more? I've got a whole slew of my fashion muses at my Tumblr.

interview #01: evan goetz

1) What's your full name (and preferred name, if you have one)?
My full name is Evan William Goetz. My family's last name used to be von Goetz, but when they moved to America then took out the von so their named sounded less German lulz. William was my father's first name (and his father's first name). My mom liked the name Evan, but she said the name Evan came from some Swedish king who raped young women. ...lulz my father wanted to name me something unbelievably black like Shaqina or something if I were a girl.

2) Date of birth?
I was born on July 8, 1991

3) Blood type (if you know it), if not, horoscope (lulz):
I am O-, and I am a Cancer. I don't check my horoscope too often, but I find it to be almost always right, which weirds me out. Somewhere I read that each astrological sign has a corresponding organ, and that Cancer's was the stomach. I feel like I have always been stomach-centered.

4) So, how long have you been a vegetarian?
Alright, here's the low down on the vegetarian scoop. I started taking meat out of my diet the beginning of freshman year, but since I've been home I have both been eating meat when it is made for me or on special occasions. However, I am going to the grocery store this weekend and getting a fuckton of tofu so I'll never have to eat meats againnn.

5) What's it like living without eating meat?
Not eating meat has actually been awesome. I feel like my whole body is super healthy all the time, I never feel bloated or suffer from uncomfortable digestive problems or unruly gas. I've actually noticed that if I do eat meat I feel noticeably worse than times that I hadn't.

6) What ultimately made you turn to vegetarianism?
the lulz

7) How would you describe your clothing style?
My clothing style, while influenced by the late 90s, early 2000s, and my own homosexuality is primarily composed of cheap shit. I really don't like shopping that much, and I love not having to drop a dime when I need new clothes. i love places like Ross or thrift stores (yesterdays rose in old fairfax is a gem) because you can get (dirt) cheap shit that I think has a lot more personality and style than stuff you find in the mall.
Since I've been home I have taken all of the color out of my wardrobe, so that nao I only wear black, white, and gray (denim too). It's not that I'm against color, I just really enjoy gray and feel that I look much more sleek in monochrome than I did without. I'm really loving it.

8) What's the most outrageous outfit you've worn or would like to wear without any inhibitions?
I really wish I had something interesting to say but the best I can think of is dressing up for Rocky Horror on Halloween.

9) What happened to you and college?
I got caught with the boozies, my mom flipped and pulled me out. Ironically I haven't even got a strike from school. What's worse, my mom then punished me by having my wisdom teeth removed 2 years early and taking a trip to Mexico without me. niceee.

10) Your take on the practice of yoga?
Yoga was the physical routine that went along with the spiritual teaching of Hinduism, right? anything that helps you reach moksha (right?) probably helps out on earth too. also, Madonna does yoga and nao that mj is dead she's the queen of pop.

11) The bucket list question--what are a few things you'd definitely want to do before you die?
Before I die, I would def like to travel more, my number one destination is Beirut Lebanon. I'm not sure why, but something about the city really draws me.
Other than that i have very few goal-oriented plans. I kind of like it that way.

12) Tell me something about you and Pokemon.
I am actually an experienced Pokemon trainer. As of this morning, I have seen 141/caught109 on my Pokemon Blue. I still have to train a few more Pokemons (and catch a krabby lulz) but I am getting pretty close to being a Pokemon mastah! gotta catch em all betch

13) You are given a camera that can only take one photograph. What would you shoot? Why (if there's a reason for it)?
With only one picture I would go to this one hill in Clifton and take a picture looking back towards nova. It's pretty high up, so when you look back home the light pollution surrounds nova like a bubble. It's really cool to see.

14) Describe your favorite hobby and how you got into it.
I love knitting, thank you Leah McGlone. At Leah's first meeting of her knitting club, she supplied me with yarn and needles then taught me the ropes. Been hooked ever since.

15) Describe your cooking expertise.
Ooooh, i love cooking! I'm always confused when people say they're bad at cooking, ecause I think it's so easy! I rely on a set number of painfully simple dishes including stir fry, carbonara, omigosh and acorn squash, so good.

16) You dream career is...
I dont have a dream career, because I would much rather just marry someone rich (preferably European) and then spending the rest of my life doing designer drugs. hooha.

17) What's been playing on your iPod/iTunes/mp3/music library/device lately?
Passion pit, armor for sleep, and dubstep. Just recently got a boner for dubstep thanks to Sarah Barakat.

18) Chinese food.
Chinese food is freakin delicious. My favorite Chinese (Hunan, I suppose) restaurant is Shiang Yu in the Franklin Farm shopping center. The food is amazing. The service is awesome. And they have these seasame vegetables that are really yummy.

19) What do you think of strangers?
I'm not big on new people. I'm not really opposed to them, but I just really enjoy being around friends and those that I'm comfortable with.

20) What's the newspaper industry's future?
Oooh, I wish I had a more original answer to the future of the newspaper industry than the internet. But print journalism really doesn't have a future in cheap tangible ditributables like newspapers. I think that the internet is a sweet place for newspapers though, it will really lulz things up.

21) What is something that you find overrated?
I find sooooo many things overrated, but I think that's because I find things that I'm not interested in to be unbearable. If I had to focus on one thing I find overrated I would have to say Lady Gaga. I find her voice, lyrics, and whole image to be irritating and cliché.

22) A cup half full or half empty?
I would say half empty, but I like to think of myself as a realist, not a pessimist.

23) Why did you name your blog "tip of the iceburg"? (and do you realize that iceburg is usually spelt "iceberg"?)
Eough man, rough. ;) and I gave it that name because it was in that one Owl City song that I really liked but surprisingly can't remember the name of.

24) Do you prefer to plan things out, or wing them, and why?
I feel like everyone's life should have a general plan, but I really enjoy taking life by the reigns and wingin it. I feel held down by routines and plans and would much rather go with the flow and let things happen on their own.

25) I'm probably going to interview another interesting person after you for my blog, so what's one question you'd want me to ask him/her?
If you haven't interviewed them already, I would say that you should ask them about what they think the next big social trend will be. I lunch out on hipsters, and I can't wait to see what's next.

That was Evan Goetz. It's strange how life works. When I met him, he was a senior at my high school, and I was a freshman. Under normal circumstances, I would've never hoped to ever encounter and get to know a senior as a freshman, but I did. Somehow, through the literary magazine. Although he rarely appeared at the meetings, I felt that he was a pretty chill guy on the occasion that he was actually around, and I guess things just rolled from there. I don't know how many times I smiled/grinned/laughed out loud at what he has said, especially in this interview, so that ought to say something!

One of the most adorable things about this whole interview process was that 1) I didn't really know him that well, so it was hard to think of suitable questions to ask him and 2) I sent these 25 questions out via e-mail on Feb. 13, 2010, 3:03 a.m., and I didn't get a response until March 30, 2010, 1:16 a.m. So that's approximately 45 days. I saw him in between that span of time once or twice, and although he did say he was sorry he hadn't responded yet, I wasn't too sure that he'd really respond to the interview. But he did. 45 days later. But that's what's awesome.

He has his own blog, called The Tip of the Iceburg which I encourage you to follow up on. It should give a better idea of what an awesome personality he is.


I've always wanted to interview awesome people on my blog, like Yuli Sato does on her blog Coming Up Strong (which is absolutely amazing). And ingenious. Pure genius. I've had these dreams before I encountered her blog, but I just never actually thought it would be possible/made into reality. So she was really one of the greatest factors in making this particular dream come true.

I also have to acknowledge the brilliant people in my world--each and every one of the people I will interview from here on out, as well as the people I hope to interview, or those that I've never encountered but will/should.

So what is this exactly?

For now, I'm going to interview people I actually know in life--amazing, awesome individuals that I respect. I think that it'd be great for people to meet these individuals. We'll see how this goes!

what do I dream of now, besides my journalistic/photographic career?

Well, I just told you that I aspired (not too seriously) to be a flight attendant as a six-year-old. So now I'm 15. What do I envision, what do I dream of for the future now, now that it has nearly been a decade since?

If it isn't obvious, I dream constantly about my future career, which, right now, seems to be becoming a journalist/photographer. Yeah, all of those things, and probably a lot more, too. But those are my main focuses. Day in and day out, I dream. But you know what else I dream of?

Of owning a house on top of a hill full of lupines, next to the sea.

I dream, that when I'm a journalist and photographer, I'll come home (wherever that may be, hopefully in New York City) every Friday night from traveling or a long day of 'work,' and head out to my favorite bar or lounge and order a glass of wine (which one, I wouldn't know. I think I'll have to ask an expert like my EIC on that). I would hate beers. I'd love wine. I'd sit on the same bar stool every week, same place, same times, curling my fingertips around the glass of wine that I always have. From that view, I would see the saxophonist, the bassist, the pianist. The lights would be dim, the music would be beautiful, the atmosphere absolutely heavenly. And I wouldn't go home until after the bar/lounge closed. I would request the jazz trio/group to play my favorite bar jazz song for me: After Hours by The Three Sounds. Actually, I wouldn't request. The jazz group would always know that would be what I wanted to hear before heading home to my apartment at 3 a.m., since I'd be a regular at that bar/lounge. And note that I said bar or lounge, and not "club." I don't think I'd spend my Friday nights clubbing. And my ideal bar/lounge? The type that's classy, not trashy.

And then, on the weekends, if I had time off, I'd head out to my favorite cafe for lunch, alone probably. I'd be a regular at that cafe, too. They would always play bossa nova softly in the background, and the smell of coffee would be in the air. I dislike the taste of coffee, but I like the smell. This particular cafe would be relatively empty, though it would be the best cafe in the city (a rare find), and it would be furnished like a modern room you'd see in IKEA. The lightning would be just perfect, and the walls would be sparse--perhaps a few photographs framed here and there, but nothing else. There'd be a few potted plants here and there. There would be a single, tall bookcase near the entrance. I'd be eating my usual pasta or a watercress sandwich for lunch, pouring myself a cup of rose tea (and if not--juice. Or maybe an expensive bottle of water), with a newspaper in hand--most likely The New York Times, or a magazine. What magazine, I don't know. We'll see--maybe a fashion magazine like Vogue, or maybe a worldly magazine like National Geographic. It depends on which one I'd end up at. (chuckle) I'm full of myself. Or if I weren't lunching and reading, I'd be using my Macbook Pro, which I clutch under my arm everywhere as I maneuver the streets of New York City.

Then, on evenings when I can spare time (especially on weekend nights), I'd be in a fancy or cozy restaurant, dining with someone--perhaps a close friend, a coworker I'd be on agreeable terms with, whatever. And that restaurant would, surprise, play jazz, too. It'd have dim lights, a subdued atmosphere.

I really have a thing for

1) Jazz/bossa nova
2) Wine, not beer
3) Cafes, bars and lounges

Those are situations I'd see myself in, hahaha.

i aspired to be a flight attendant when i was six.

As a child, I was perfectly cheerful, happy, bubbly, and laughed way more often. And even more than that, I dreamt every waking moment. I think I'm quite an enigma--an enigmatic character presently. I mean, I myself aren't too sure how I would/should consider myself. But these are some of the things I dreamt or did as a child:

I aspired to be a billion things. Here's one of them:

I'd imagine myself as a flight attendant most often. I remember this particular day, perhaps when I was six, that I was in the living room, and I had come across a tape recorder.

I figured out how to work it, so I started leaping up and down, and running around the sofa, announcing into the tape recorder (while it was recording) in a suave, formal voice: "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I am Miranda, and I will be your flight attendant for today. Please keep all seat belts fastened and enjoy the flight. If you will, please turn your attention to the screen for the safety presentation...." and I'd go on and on.

I'd also repeatedly say my intro in various ways, still, with the same suave voice I'd modeled from the flight attendants I'd encountered throughout my many years of traveling on airplanes.

I'd imagine myself strutting through the narrow aisles of the airplane even though I was in my living room. I'd actually walk in a straight line, with as much poise and dignity as possible like the flight attendants, who I guess were my idols/heroes. I remember, as a child, the flight attendants were young women who looked stunning. Models. Not like the sort of old bags you see on airplanes nowadays. Kidding about the old bags.

But an interesting thing that I'll note is that I made full use of my voice. It is, as you may realize, lower than most girls/females. And I'm pretty sure that even when I was just a kid, six years old, I had an abnormally lower voice, as well. And I didn't mind it. In fact, I thought that it fit perfectly when I talked with a suave tone. Hah.

My childish flight attendant aspirations flew away. I was of course not serious about them. I don't regret it, but it would be nice if I could be a flight attendant. Maybe. Just for the fact that I can stroll through narrow aisles talking with a deliberately oh-so-smooth tone.

What were your dreams when you were a kid? Did you have a dream career?

Monday, March 29, 2010

[fashion] 100 years of fashion illustration

Above: Angela Landel's illustration of Sian Phillips in Chanel Suit c. 1961

Yesterday (Sunday) I went to Barnes and Nobles and went to the art history section. I decided it was time to immerse myself further in the history of fashion, so I leafed through a book called "100 Years of Fashion Illustration" which was a huge book of, you guessed it--fashion illustrations throughout the century. I was sad to know that I couldn't be able to buy the book, but I did jot down all the artists' names whose work I liked. Here they are:
  1. Angela Landels
  2. Bernard Blossac
  3. Cecil Beaton
  4. Kareem Iliya
  5. David Downton
  6. Francois Berthoud
  7. Julie Verhoeven
  8. Tanya Ling
  9. Patrick Arlet
  10. Pater Sato
  11. Antonio Lopez
  12. Eric Stemp
  13. Rene Gruau
  14. Constance Wilbaut
  15. Bobby Hillson
These artists' styles were all stunning in their own way. My pulse quickened just by studying their art. I imagined them flourishing their pens, paints, and whatever tools they used on whatever medium they chose.

Their work was beautiful. Each was singular in their style. Impeccably so.

I feel like I've seen some of their work before. Or that they've been emulated by other people, that they've become the foundation of others' styles.

I notice that I tend to like more modern styles better. The book was chronologically ordered, and I definitely liked the greater/latter half of it more so than the first half. I wonder what that says about me/my style.

Based on what I've seen, Bernard Blossac's illustrations (above, both) have got to be one of my favorites.

Above: Rene Gruau

Left: Bobby Hillson; Right: Angela Landels

[diary] midnight piano with my sister

I expressed my doubts to one of my best friends. Directly quoting what I said earlier, "I don't know if the majority of people understand how terribly smart and sneaky little kids are." I think I have a point since I actually have a five-year-old sister. And three-year-old brother.

Although I might not spend a lot of time with them, when I do, it's normally to help them. Like piano practice with my little sister.

It usually goes smoother than it did today. I mean, tomorrow/later, she has a piano lesson at 10:30 a.m. It is currently 12:35 a.m. and we just finished one segment of practice. I told her I'd give her a 20 minute break, and we'd get back to practicing until she has 'perfected' all her pieces.

I'm a drill sergeant. I say "again" every time she finishes playing a piece if it isn't perfect. I've said "again" for at least 10 times in a row, literally. But it's for her own good. And I do that to myself, too. For the most part. But that is how I train her. And myself. I know she gets frustrated whenever I say "again" in a flat voice. But that's the only method that I can think of that works--repetition--grounding the concept into both her mind and fingers over and over again so that she knows it upside-down in her sleep. Whenever I review for tests, especially math and science, I do the same problems over and over again. Do the problem. Erase. Do the problem. Erase. Rinse and repeat. It's terribly monotonous and frustrating, yes, but I've gotten used to it and it seems to be my most successful method. I don't know what else that I can do to ground piano in my sister.

But after the most frustrating piano practice I've done with her, a part of me feels very sad, yet I feel troubled and wiser at the same time. I've already placed myself in my parents' shoes before. And this time I do it again. And again. And again. I try to reason about what it's like to be them. And then I try to reason about what it's like to be a five-year-old. So I know. I wish I could sit my sister down and explain why I'm "tormenting" her with these drills. I admit, often during this practice, I wanted to do something abrupt because I was so aggravated. But I didn't yell at her like my parents. I didn't slam my hands on the table or piano like I would have wanted to. I didn't slam her hands on the keys like my first piano teacher. I'm sure that often, when I don't obey my parents, that's exactly what they want to do--dole out physical punishment. Or say terrible words. They do that. But they don't do physical punishment. But I still think it's just as bad. But when I was practicing piano with my sister for those consecutive two hours, I really wanted to yell, shout.

I am seriously dubious of how difficult this really is. It's hard to explain, but if I know you in person, I'll show you. I honestly don't think I had this much difficulty with piano even when I was her age doing the same thing. I often suspected that my sister was intentionally pretending not to know how to play certain parts just so she could try my patience.

As if the entire world hasn't tested my patience today.

Today was a truly terrible day. A perpetual headache. More than annoying, nosy, loud relatives. No peace, no quiet. Just claustrophobia, a racket of gossip, practicing piano without very fruitful results for two hours. No stomach for food.

Whenever I get frustrated, mad, or sad, I have no stomach for food. Either that or I start indiscriminately binging--stuffing whole foods into my mouth and tearing savagely, swallowing in huge gulps, blinking back hot tears. That happens quite often--well, at least, when I'm sad/mad at meal times. Today I stuffed a whole square of radish cake (
蘿蔔糕) into my mouth after being unhappy with dinner (because I was in a foul mood I couldn't savor the food).

Anyhoo. Back to the subject of practicing with my sister.

She just went to sleep despite my mandate of resuming practice in 20 minutes. That means I'll have to wake up around 8 or so and wake her up to practice. Didn't I say I was a drill sergeant?

While I may not do everything that I have to recently, when I do do it, I put my mind to it for the most part. Discipline is something that I lack but also have. Repetition is one of the pillars of my methods. You could say that I have a lot of discipline, but at the same time, you could also say that I can be reckless and wild.

I just can't stomach the fact that if my sister doesn't do well in her piano lesson tomorrow, I will bear the brunt of it from my parents. And I myself will feel guilty and responsible, because I am responsible for her success this time.

But I know, that it's frustrating. For me, for my sister, for my parents, for everyone in the world who has family.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Movies I'd like to see again: Titanic, V for Vendetta, Disney classics.

When I was a kid, when my mind was unbridled and purer than anything, and when I was blissfully ignorant, I watched a lot of movies. I had various opinions about various movies.

I've probably watched Titanic for 15 times as a kid. I don't remember the last time I watched it. Maybe when I was seven. But I thought some parts of it were boring. Others, intriguing. It makes me smile when I think about how I felt about the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio paints Kate Winslet. If you have ever watched the movie, you will probably recall that she was painted nude. But anyway, I had mixed feelings. Firstly, I was fascinated that there was such a scene in the movie. Secondly, I was shocked/amazed that this was even happening. You know, scandalous, huh?

But that was all I ever got from the movie. I mean, no, I saw a lot more, but I didn't understand the essential, underlying themes and messages of the actual story of Titanic. It's one of the films I'd like to watch again, out of many others--perhaps a hundred.

Here's a list (in no particular order):
  1. Titanic
  2. V for Vendetta
  3. All the classic Disney movies
The classic Disney movies all have underlying, darker meanings behind the initial themes it presents. That much is evident and unnecessary to explain. And way to advertise, but check this article out.

V for Vendetta. That's another story. I first watched it when I was 10, when my mind was simpler and unfettered. I didn't understand how powerful its true message was. I didn't understand a lot of the themes.

This movie is reminiscent of how Hitler and his Nazi government massacred Jews, homosexuals, etcetera. The dark themes of government, people, corruption, and also the triumph and meaning of a people's power. Of a single person's power.

When I was 10 when I watched this--it was still the year 2005. Five years ago, when homosexuals were probably more closeted. I was still quite the child. Maybe it was because of that that I didn't recognize or realize that Valerie and Ruth were lovers, even though there was one scene of them kissing and embracing. When I saw that, I just thought they were good friends. I didn't make anything of it. But now I realize. And I also realize how powerful that film was, championing human achievements, as well as exposing human fears and faults. But I only watched V for Vendetta that one time. I wish I could watch it again.

I like to watch films with depth. Especially those that are psychological thrillers. My favorite genre.

My Favorite Words #3

So, everyone, I've decided to do a continuation (thus the third) of my series of favorite words since I noticed that I probably used the same word on at least five consecutive Tumblr posts.

That word happens to be ethereal. It ranks very highly among my favorite words, not only because of its meaning but also because of its configuration. Okay...I'm going into major nerd mode when I say this, but this is how I determine favorite words:

(in no particular order):
1) How they sound rolling off my tongue.
2) Their structure. For example--ethereal has two vowels right next to each other. That's something I rather like. And also because you can visibly see two e's so close to each other. OK. That was probably really weird/confusing/what-the-heck-ish.
3) Their definition.

So after all that, you may wonder if I am able to dislike any word at all.

The answer is yes.

But uh...I can't say which ones yet. (I can't think of them right now, but I do know they exist.)

Anyway, here's my continued list of favorite words (in no particular order):

1. Nondescript
2. Novelty
3. Novel:
a. The quality of being novel; newness.
b. Something new and unusual; an innovation.
c. A small mass-produced article, such as a toy or trinket.
4. Discerning
5. Ethereal
6. Tenuous
7. Oleaginous
8. Sublime
9. Commonwealth
10. Perpetual
11. Vice
12. Dogma
13. Stigma
14. Propensity
15. Tenuity
16. Ellipse
17. Intrinsic
18. Repetition
19. Solicit
20. Ineffable
21. Effervescent
22. Ebullient
23. Doldrums
24. Clandestine
25. Impetus
26. Gambit
27. Jaded
28. Tawdry
29. Décolletage

Sooo...your thoughts?

Should I include the definitions of select words the next time I do a list?

Gimme your top five favorite words (or phrases) as of lately.

Friday, March 26, 2010

[photography] week 11

***NOTE: if viewing via Facebook note, please view via my blog for a high-quality experience. If you're not viewing from Fb, disregard this.***

Halloa :)
^Me and my Canon AE-1 Program.

It's finally spring break. I slept TWELVE hours between yesterday's 10 p.m. and today's 10 p.m.!

Without further ado, let's get started on the weekly roll:

day 79
day 79: the third time

day 80
day 80: pole meet mackerel sky

day 81
day 81: flutterings of the heart

day 82
day 82: fashionable reads

day 83
day 83: the simplest of joys

day 84
day 84: she's taking off on her own path.

day 85
day 85: light spillage

Ahhh. I have to say that this week in terms of photography started out terribly, but as time progressed, things got better, hmm?

My favorite has got to be day 81, both because of the story behind it (read its page to find out) and the composition. A close second has to be day 84, also because of the story and composition.

I would really like to make good use of spring break to meet certain people I haven't really had the chance to be with. And take more photographs. Look forward to something this upcoming week in photography. I haven't decided what yet, but I'm sure it'll be crazy.

What's your favorite?

And here's a challenge for you all: Document a minimum of one moment in your spring break experience and send a photograph to me, along with a caption. Of course, I encourage you to take more than one photograph--take a whole slew if you're up to it. And be creative/resourceful. It doesn't matter what camera you have. iPhone, cell phone cameraphone, point-and-shoot, D-SLR, whatevs. GET OUT THERE AND HAVE FUN!

[diary] Spring Break

The week we've anticipated with bated breaths has finally arrived.

While I'm glad that we're finally getting a break, I can't help but feel nervous in the pit of my stomach since things in school have not been going as well as before.

At this point, it feels stupid to say things like, "I don't know what happened or why I'm doing so terribly." I know.

During times like these, all I ever want to do is write poem after poem about my descent and fall from grace. But right now, I don't even have the heart to do that. I feel drained, mentally and physically.

But I welcome spring break.

All I can say is that I hope that this break will lift my weariness and restore me to power. Hope. Where did it go?

I plan on enjoying this spring break. I don't plan on letting it go to waste, to let it end uneventfully.

I'm so tired.

[diary] sisters

day 84: she's taking off on her own path.

We took our second walk today. It was windy.

Somehow when I look at this picture I feel like crying. Someday Serina will grow up. Watching her from here, I just find it a bit difficult to accept that she's going to go through life, she's going to encounter unpleasant circumstances, she's going to go through terrible times just like everyone else.

It's terrible of me to think like that.

But I just worry for her.

I have no idea how she will 'turn out,' or what sort of character she will be, but I suppose that's what everyone deals with when they have a child (or in my case, younger sibling).


On a lighter note, I let her use my point-and-shoot again. I think this is pretty great for a 5 year old who has only tried using the camera about three times in her life.

And I of course took tons of photographs of her, too.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

[diary] i remembered, i ran. I lived.

NOTE: 1) if you are viewing via facebook note, please go to my blog post for high-quality viewing. 2) Keep in mind that aside from resizing, all the following photographs are au natural, just like where I took them.

I was reborn again today.

Spring brought me back to life.

The sun gave me my spirit.

One of the reasons I got so 'into' photography was because of nature. The sun and moon especially. The clouds.

The sky, definitely. Everything natural about this earth has beauty that cannot be denied (for a moment I forgot how to spell denied and I typed 'denide.' How terrifying).

So I went on a walk/jog today because I peered out my window and lo and behold, I saw the sun with the clouds. It was stunning. Simply stunning. It caused me to grab both of my cameras (the film camera Canon AE-1 Program and my point-and-shoot Fujifilm Finepix F50fd) and pelt out of the door in my sweats/sleeping clothes. I didn't bother changing and looking sharp because the sky, as I know so well, is fickle and mercurial, forever-changing at speeds you wouldn't imagine.

I stepped out of my front door, lumbered across the driveway, and stopped. Birdsong, everywhere. Ubiquitous chorus. Sweet sounds.

I pelted away from my house, to the corner of the street where there is a sewage/reservoir/valley thing where you can see the sun best. It was more beautiful than I thought (it was already beautiful, mind you)--there was still puddles of water in the marshy, green valley from the rain we had yesterday and the day before. The sunlight illuminated the puddles.

The scene was absolutely earthy, yet ethereal at the same time.

The golden orb re-lit the fire in me.

I'd grown tired and sad that I no longer took nearly as many nature photographs as I had before. That was what propelled me in photography--nature. The sun. And today, I remembered what it felt like again, to run with abandon in sweatpants, only armed with cameras, tearing through grassy and marshy terrain, cutting through forestry and bypassing sidewalks to reach Paradise--where the sun lies. To feel the wind caressing me, to hear it whip behind me, along me, and to feel seemingly boundless energy coursing through my veins was absolutely joyous, wonderful.

I remembered again.

I remembered what it felt like to start from square one--with only a frame, a click of the shutter, beholding nature's secret joy.

I remembered what it felt like to be rejuvenated again, to feel deliriously happy and ecstatic just to find a simple but infinitely beautiful sky above me. To find joy in simple life.

day 83: the simplest of joys

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

reading list for March/April 2010

For those that have been with me since elementary school (precisely starting fifth grade), you might recall that I was that girl, the avid reader, or so-called "bookworm." The one with a book up her nose and the one who finished that like billion-paged book in one day.

So what happened to her?

Oh, I dunno. The better question to ask is, what happened to her and books?

I mean, I can't even remember the last book I read that wasn't school-related and nonfiction. If it's reading, these days/year(s) have been:
  1. School-required novels (UGH)
  2. Fashion magazines
  3. Biographies and/or works of people in the fashion/photography/journalism industry
  4. Blogs
I mean, even at the beginning of last year, I was still into reading Kafka. I still love Kafka. And last year in December, I picked up on Ayn Rand again. But what happened to those philosophical, compelling books, too?

These days it's all reality, the hard facts, reality, real life. Boom.

It's not a good or bad thing. It's just interesting to think that I was all dragons and warriors and magic just a couple years back. I was a total fantasy-book-nerd.

And now I no longer carry the proud badge of the one who has devoured countless books in a surprisingly short span of time.

I don't know if people consider reading fashion magazines 'reading.' But I guess I do.

So here's my reading list for the months of March and April:

  1. Vogue US April 2010
  2. The Beautiful Fall (Alicia Drake) (nonfiction, biography)
  3. Hungry (Crystal Renn) (also nonfiction, autobiography)
  4. W Magazine April 2010
  5. Hopefully Nylon April 2010 when it comes in the mail
  6. Runway Madness (Robert Givhan and Lucian Perkins)
Woohoo, notice a trend?

So, what's on your reading list?

[diary] Circle

My life is like a circle right now. It's kind of like one of my FAVORITE SONGS EVER:

Swandive - Circle

Used to be that love didn’t matter to me
and I could take it or I could leave it
and never miss you.
Came back around and I finally found
what I wanted and what I wanted
was to be with you.
I thought about it for some time,
I made a circle in my mind,
now I keep coming back, coming back,
coming back to you.

Nothing but a lie that I told to myself
and I believed it, I couldn’t see it,
said we were over.
Came back around and I finally found
what I wanted and what I wanted
was to be closer.
I thought about it for some time,
I made a circle in my mind,
now I keep coming back, coming back,
coming back to you.

Why don’t I meet you in the middle,
why don’t you meet me in the middle,
oh, it’s gonna take a little time
but we’ll be fine.
I thought about it for some time,
I made a circle in my mind,
now I keep coming back, coming back,
coming back to you.

Used to be that love didn’t matter to me
and I could take it or I could leave it
and never miss you.
Came back around and I finally found
what I wanted and what I wanted
was to be with you.

Today was one of the most blissful days ever. EVER.
  • I took at least 600 photographs of I Night practice for the News section of TPT
  • Although I might've failed the quiz, I actually understood the new Chemistry lesson today

Everything is so confusing...wondering what you mean to me, newspaper, what I want, school, life, this and that.

My world is spinning, it's going round and round, like a circle.

You can listen to the actual Circle song AT MY TUMBLR! since Facebook notes is dumb and won't let me embed YouTube videos.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

[fashion] my favorite models

As I was breaking down the statistics on what I post to my Tumblr, I made an observation--most of the photographs I post, which are fashion-related, still revolve mostly around my favorite three models. Or rather, I still consider the first three models that led me into fashion as my favorites.

Anja Rubik

Freja Beha Erichsen

Tao Okamoto

[photography] week 10

Hi everyone. Busy week. I slept when I should've been doing homework this week. It was terrible. But--socially, I think I've got it down pat. Tomorrow is work day for TPT, and I will be meeting with an old friend who's visiting from Roanoke if all goes well! Also, yesterday I reconnected with mi amiga from middle school who now goes to Oakton (haha). Life is good. School is not, at the moment.

NOTE: If you are viewing this via Facebook note, I suggest you go to the ACTUAL POST to view everything in high quality.

Here we go!

day 72
day 72

day 74
day 74: 我只吃饭,不洗碗

day 76
day 76: skip

day 77
day 77

day 78
day 78: 72 degree weather

Does the quantity seem a little stark? Yes, I missed two days >:( (73 and 75)

Hmmm, haven't got an immediate favorite this week. What do you think?

And next week, if all goes well, will be a photo shoot. Time and place and objectives haven't been confirmed yet, but it's definitely on Saturday, March 27 if it's going down (going to happen). You will get an invitation via Facebook message by Wednesday if I plan on inviting you or if you are so inclined to participate or attend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

[diary] my cranium hurts. sigh.

Today was not one of the best of days. I should scan in this fucking awesome doodle/rant I whipped up during Chem class. It talks about wanting to bitchslap a certain guy and laments about the unfairness of the classroom (*cough*specifically the teacher*cough*). But I'm too lazy and my head hurts and that has been my legitimate excuse for everything.

Where specifically does my head/brain hurt? In the back, between the occipital lobe and cerebellum. Here are some possible factors:

1) I ate breakfast at approximately 2:15 p.m. It was a banana. A single banana.
2) I only drank water in the morning when I was leaving the house.
3) I seriously think that I tried the hardest today in P.E. than I ever have in my whole life. On jump roping--cross, can can, trivialthings like that. I am apparently not too good at jump roping since I still ended up failing even though I practiced the whole class T_T
4) Newspaper.
5) Andromeda.
6) Thinking about the mammoth amount of reading I must complete tonight.
7) Rinse and repeat.

I started typing this about fifteen minutes ago, and my cranium still hurts. It has been hurting since this afternoon.

But I think today was pretty notable (other than Chemistry) in that...
1) I took photographs for Lynh for International Night practice. This time around I wasn't as afraid of climbing on chairs and getting down for shots even though I wore a skirt today.
2) I wore a skirt today!
3) I don't know...so much going on....
4) Newspaper. I drew the comic strip, though in my opinion, looks terrible.
5) My column will not be appearing in the print edition of issue 6. ...
6) Since I didn't have the guts or time to eat lunch today, I missed out on SPAGHETTI. (cries) I haven't had spaghetti in forever...

Damn Thursday, why can't you have been Friday?

day 78

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

[diary] i took my sister for a walk for the first time ever.

Maybe you don't understand how this sort of thing could delight me.

But I am, oh believe me, delighted to say that I took my sister on a walk for the very first time. This will not be the last. If only I didn't have to stay after school tomorrow or Friday. You know what I'd do instead? Take her for a walk.

I want to take her for a walk every single day when she gets home now. That's how awesome it is.

Absolutely cute.

She was skipping across the sidewalk the entire time. Watching her makes me happy (lol, that sounds weird) to see the innocence and genuineness of children, of what I was possibly like as a child. No, not really. I didn't do theatrics like her when I was a child--at least, not in public. But anyway, generally, it's a good reminder of who you may have been, what you could be right now--free, untarnished, absolutely unafraid of yourself and more trusting than you'll ever be afterward.

But she's just awesome. According to one photographer, children are really great subjects. That's true. They jump. They hop. They skip, in my sister's case. And they're not wary of the camera. At least my sister isn't. She loves it. Absolute, genuine, perfect subject right there.

They are also indefatigable.

day 77: skip

...You know what's the greatest thing about taking your sister on a walk? My sister on a walk, with me?

Because I just think it's nice that she'll grow up remembering that her own sister took her on a walk. So she'll be in school and she'll know what people are talking about, how it feels to go on a walk with their sibling, how it feels to spend time with their older sibling. And best of all, she'll at least know she had fun, had a fun experience.

That's one of the things that I find rewarding about being a big sister. I may not assume the role of a sister as often as I could, but when I do, I make the best of it. I think about things my parents didn't do for me, things I didn't grow up with that would've made me happy to know what it felt like--like having an older sibling. And it's great to see someone smile for you because of something you do for them. It's a great feeling.


I let my sister take three photographs with my camera today. This is what she came up with on her last try:

^aside from being resized, it's completely raw--unedited. Taken by Serina, age 5.5.

If you're viewing this via Facebook note, visit this link to the original post (via my blog) for higher quality photographs.

[diary] he stood on the lunch table, twice.

Mr. Demick, a CHS Gov teacher, stood on a lunch table, twice. One, to assert his presence. Two, to shush us. Three, to instill a sense of awe in me as I watched the light bounce off his shiny (bald) head. I should've sneaked a photograph...

Anyway, that was what happened today within ten minutes prior to the actual National Honor Society (NHS) induction ceremony.

I arrived about two minutes before the stated arrival time, 5:45 p.m., straight from piano practice, lugging my vintage and absolutely adorable Miffy bag with me, loaded with piano sheet music, The Beautiful Fall (Alicia Drake), my iPod, cell phone, and, uh, one other thing that you needn't know.

Not sure where I'm going with mentioning all that, but whatever. My journal entries are usually specific and elaborate about even the tiniest of details. Oh, I also wore my Calvin Klein blazer and tailored light blue button-down and Bally heels. Basically a suit. Gosh. I wish I wore my dress. Oh well--I was in a hurry.

So the induction ceremony went well, I suppose. I was really nervous and paranoid that I might trip while ascending/descending the three or four steps up the stage or going across it. Thankfully I did not. Man, I suck at walking in heels even though I love them. Love, love, love how they look. And how they elevate one's stature and add a sort of aesthetic zing to an outfit (when paired correctly). But I just can't walk in them comfortably without wondering when I might end my life.

A few things bothered me about the induction ceremony. One, when we first sat down in the auditorium, there was this blinding (hah) beam of light that shined on us diagonally. That's my dad and his camcorder. I don't understand why he records stuff when he never looks at it afterward . But whatev. It was just that the girl next to me was like, "God, whose parent is that who's blinding me?" and then she looked at me and asked if it was mine. I unfortunately said yes.

During the ceremony, the student president of NHS spoke according to the script which didn't change the date (the NHS was intended to occur about two weeks ago), so she read it verbatim and it was therefore incorrect. But then she/Mr. Demick corrected it, and that was that. But my dad just had to come home and laugh at the girl and nitpick, bantering about it. For goodness sake, that is nothing to make fun of. What a total douche.

More instances of this dad-with-blinding-camcorder/camera, like when I was picking up the certificate across from the lecture hall. He stood sort of blocking the line recording me while I was talking to a friend (Alice). Gosh. How awkward. And then he started taking pictures of us and insisted that I look at it.

You guys ever wonder why I have an aversion to people taking photographs of me usually?

It's usually because of this.
1) They make you look at the camera
2) That's fucking contrived and stupid. I'll look when I want to look.
3) They expect you to smile.

Maybe I'm the only one who gets bothered about those three things, but from an aspiring photographer's perspective (I'm not a photographer yet!), those are things that undermine the magic of a photograph, for, I think, obvious reasons. Contrived. When I look at a photograph thirty years from now, trying to remember what exactly happened at a specific event, all I'll see from those contrived, forced-smiles photographs is an inaccurate record. It's not a real capture.

So really, smile when you want to, don't smile when you're not truly up for it. I don't care if you look at my camera and frown or glare. I want real.

Later when I went in the lecture hall with Alice, we got cake. Since I knew the two people at the counter, they gave me the hugest slab, seriously. It was almost twice the size of an average slice. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing (health-wise, I fail), but I guess they meant well (hopefully)? Oh, it helps to know people :D

When I was standing to the side, my dad starts recording everyone, I mean, EVERYONE in the whole room, even parents and kids he doesn't know. This may sound hypocritical, but, what the heck. Really? At least I show my photographs or recorded stuff. He doesn't do anything with it, so why bother?

And now...

I must do Algebra and study for that quiz.
I must do Chem and study for that wretched quiz.
I must work my butt off and get my work done for TPT. I've been terrible this week in terms of school.



No offense intended, just my honest thoughts.

I was stunned to find that so many people didn't attend..

Okay. Maybe NHS isn't a really big deal, maybe it isn't that important of an honor. But it's an honor nonetheless. Maybe there's tons of homework, etcetera. But I find it kind of shocking that people just don't go because of those reasons. There were six people who sat before me that didn't go, and tons of others. Plenty of empty seats while we were 'rehearsing'. Funny that the people missing in my row were all Asian, but that's just an observation. And it's also interesting to note that there are so many people with the Lee surname O_O

But yeah. It's sad that people don't go just because of too much homework or because they don't feel like it's important. When someone/something takes the time to honor or recognize you, I don't think that it's courteous or classy to dismiss it. But yeah. I'm just being a bitch, pretty much.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

[diary] going solo for today's photographic adventures

I originally intended to invite people to go on a photographic adventure with me today, but stuff came up (like getting a haircut) and I'm not sure if you guys mind the rain or not, so... I went alone! (sort of)


Today I got a haircut reluctantly (at the insistence of my family). They gripe that I have too much hair.

I already had qualms about this haircut considering that the place wasn't exactly a salon but a beauty school. Lord, the last thing I need is a beginner to hack off the hair that I've grown out.

I already had a lot less hair before I got this haircut even though the two people working on my hair kept on muttering that I "had a lot of hair."

But the end result did not please me. It's terrible compared to what my hair stylist in Shanghai does.


3day 73

I'm glad that it's raining/it rained today. Beautiful, peaceful ambiance.


Today was a pretty good day for photography. This wouldn't have happened if I didn't have the guts or the craziness to do it, but while my aunt parked her car and went into a fabric store to buy red string in the evening, I crept out of the car in the rain and stood in the middle of the parking lot to take these shots:

5Midnight Express

6night adventure in the parking lot

[diary] franklin pt. 1

I visited Franklin Middle School with my best friend Cindy.
It's been approximately two years since graduating from there, and about a year since visiting, I suppose. Last year we went to visit around this time of year as well. It was quite thrilling to sneak into the school. I'm a smooth talker. Just kidding. But really, we did have to take some risks to get in there, now that they've gotten a doorbell system installed where visitors are kept under check.

I won't go into detail about last year. But yeah, it's been about a year since my last visit.

Now why would I want to go visit Franklin Middle School, you ask? Well, simple. Nostalgia. I had an awesome time there. And I had mostly awesome teachers. Memories.

So here's the lowdown about our adventure yesterday. I hopped on Cindy's bus after school and we got to her house. We asked her mom if we could visit Franklin. Honestly, I wasn't expecting a yes, and although she seemed a little hesitant, she gave us permission. So from Cindy's house, which is only like, 50 feet from the school grounds, we ran across the highway/street (Lees Corner Rd.) and hit the sidewalk around the bus loop. Buses were just pulling in.

Here's a secret, you guys. You know our buses from Chantilly? After dropping us off, they make straight for Franklin, their next stop. Hah. I saw my busdriver/her bus (it has a Dora blanket draped over the front seat). And Cindy saw her bus driver and her bus, too (it had a Spongebob blanket). Her bus driver noticed us and told Cindy that we could've just stayed on her bus and she would've just taken us directly to Franklin after her Chantilly run. Yes. Now we have found a new method of traversing to Franklin. I asked her if we could ride her bus next Friday to Franklin, in that case. She said yes.

While we were outside, still headed towards the main door, one of the administrators saw us and asked what we were doing here. Not sure of what to say, I decided to be frank by saying that I wanted to visit my former teachers. He said that we could try, but we'd have to go ask the front office and chances were that they wouldn't let us since security is stricter now. Oh well. I decided to give it a go anyway and sneaked into the school with a bunch of bus drivers who were headed in for a bathroom break. I said "sneaked" because technically, you're supposed to ring the bell to get in, but since the bus drivers are bus drivers, the office let them in without having them ring.

Once we stepped through the main door, I pondered two options: 1) do as the administrator said and visit the front office for permission or 2) just sneak past. I chose the former since I already did that latter last year (haha) and we headed into the front office. The woman at the counter asked us what we wanted. I told her I wanted to visit my former teachers. She looked at us and said....

(to be continued)

Friday, March 12, 2010

[diary] week 9

I'm scared right now. But I'm going to pull through.

day 65
day 65: atardecer

day 66
day 66

day 67
day 67: CSI Chantilly

day 68
day 68: andro people

day 69
day 69: lucky

day 70
day 70: evan

day 71
day 71: first to franklin

This week has been rather tame in terms of photography. Do you have a favorite?

I would very much like to explain a few of the photographs, especially day 71, but right now I don't think I can. I wanted to invite a bunch of you to a photoshoot with me tomorrow, but it seems like that's not going to happen. We'll see what happens. Maybe not next week either, though.

So many things have been happening.