nostalgia ruins

windows

De-dandelioning. I cut my boyfriend’s hair today, effectively de-hooliganizing him. I also did his eyebrows a few days ago. He no longer looks like an unkempt dandelion. He has, as I have fondly been saying, gone from the streets to the walkway.

Nostalgia ruins. I wish somebody had taught me how to use the delete button in 2012, 2013, 2014. I organized my photos from the past 10 years, from 2008 to 2018, and every year has racked up at least 15 GB in data. Many of the photos are silly, blurry, repeats, meaningless, or all of the above. I’ve taken it upon myself to de-folder these macro folders and delete any images I wouldn’t deem scrapbook-worthy. It’s just too much to have 20,000 images per year. My life was certainly not exciting enough to warrant tens of thousands of photos. A few hundred, or a few thousand, might be apt. But tens of thousands is just overkill.

Rabbit love. I’m seriously considering buying a rabbit. This morning I scrolled through reddit r/rabbits and watched videos of bunnies saving kittens. I’d get a cat, but I’m allergic; I’d get a dog, but they smell and require too much effort; I’d get a hamster, but their lives are far too short. The amount of love that’s brought to an abrupt halt is just overwhelming. I love the way rabbits flop and do little happy binkies. I became familiar with the baby bunny in the backyard, whom I would frequently visit, and who would flip and turn when she saw me. She’s all grown up. I want a small creature to love! Later, I will go look for bunnies to peer at and learn about.

Futurama. I took the GRE yesterday after three months of prep. My brain was scrambled, a little during, mostly after, but I did fine, so I won’t be taking it again. The test was designed by IO psychologists–studies indicate that oftentimes, people score within the same range, anyways. Anyhow, it’s exciting to recognize and (gleefully) point out the ways IO psychologists make their mark within corporate, government and academia. Who knew they designed the army test, ASVAB, and made waves from there?

Recurring film obsession. It’s back, it’s back, it’s back. The film obsession I couldn’t shake off four years ago. I’d really like to travel and take photographs, but I’m just recovering from a severe desire to stay put. So I think it’d be a happy compromise to explore some artsy neighborhoods and photograph those, and to simply keep my film camera on hand.

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B&W Film

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Film is so beautiful and nostalgic.

I picked up a small love for film about four year ago. I’d been sitting in Econ lecture, scrolling through artists and photographers when I stumbled upon a photographer.

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A year after gathering a small appreciation (obsession) for film, I took a black and white film class.We took pictures in black and white and processed them in the darkroom, shot with borrowed Canon cameras.

I photographed strangers, artwork, puppies, toys, store fronts….so on and so forth. It was then that I realized: there is so much whimsicalness in the world. So much strangeness and beauty! The panda head human: a stranger. The toy train: more strangers. I began to shift my perception, seeing my surroundings in blacks and whites, hues and gradients, shadows and bright spots.

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In the dark room, we removed the film from the tube in a room devoid of light. With washes and chemicals and timers, we processed the small rolls of copper-colored film until they were ready to hang and dry.

Then we brought the dried film into the darkroom, where we each had our own space to magnify the film images, invert them, and light-print onto a piece of light-sensitive paper. Afterwards, we doused the paper film in another long process of chemicals and washes before the sheet was finally ready to dry.

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Processing film by hand was tedious, but fun.

I found an old film camera (a Canon snappy LX) about a year ago while cleaning out the house, and ordered some Superia film in. I’ve been slowly, slowly photographing with it. I have….six rolls of film to shoot.

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When I look at other’s images taken on Canon Snappy’s online, they look like the photographs my parents used to take decades ago, when film was all they had.

Medley | Photo Diary

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Right now I’m perusing the Internet for places to develop color film. Last year, I ordered four rolls of film; that, along with my two disposable cameras, meant I had six rolls to shoot through. I have barely gotten through one. Film is expensive; I am cheap. In comparison to digital, film is pricey–each shot must be worth it. It’s time-consuming, too, sending the rolls to the lab and waiting weeks for it to arrive, if ever. (I lost a roll last year, alas) But while I peer over digital images, I value my film ones. I hang them on the wall. I milk them, post by post. I have loved film for years, and yet I have been so stingy with it.

Photography and I have had a rocky relationship the past few years. Long story short, I’ve always loved photography, dreamt of being a paid photographer, became a paid photographer, stopped liking photography. It felt corny. People would always bring up photography in conversations, ask about photography–photography, photography, photography. It felt cheap. But now I miss it. Well, not the paid part. I miss wanting to take photos, and feeling compelled to do so. I wish I’d taken more photos when I was in DC, New York, Philly, but I was on that strange photo-taker’s block. Now I’m in a still city and aching to take more pictures. Maybe I’ll just start with film–I’ll carry my film cameras around.

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I’m really happy to be working towards this particular career path in Psychology. It’s do-able. It feels right. As much as I love creative pursuits, I’m not willing to eke out a paltry living for the rest of my life. And while I enjoyed aspects of Communication–interviewing, writing and transcribing in Journalism were rather useful skills–I was continually led towards a primary, unwavering interest: Psychology.

Now, in the interim, I’m teaching, working with a Professor who studies literacy and development, and getting to better understand this field within Psych (For any or all Psych nerds, it’s IO). I’m eyeing the Master’s; I never thought I’d pursue graduate school. But the more I learn about IO, the more crucial it seems to know. Ah! It is useful; it is fascinating; it is lucrative; it is meaningful.

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IMG_7820A hodgepodge of more unrelated thoughts:

  • Bojack Horseman’s rolled out a Season 5–tissues are at the ready.
  • Identity V remains alluring, as usual.
  • I’d like something to celebrate, just so I can drink more Bailey’s with the boyfriend.
  • My student gave me pumpkin tea the other day, and ever since, I’ve been hooked.
  • Boyfriend and I stumbled upon an artsy street the other day, which housed indie shops and rooftop restaurants and a Trader Joe’s.

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One of the things that initially drew me to blogging 10 years ago was old-school style blogging, like web-logging, like jotting down journal chunks of your day-today. The online web-log, shortened to a blog. But I turned from Tumblr to WordPress, which I set up like a small artsy hub of creative expression. From time to time, though, I simply want to revert back to the old-school blog style, where my entries cover the mundane, the intangible, the thought-y, the daily. I’ll try it. Again. And again. It’s been a long time since I have written.

City

The city is tired, the city is alive. The city is moving, the city lies still. A stop motion. A slow motion. When the light turns green I cross anyway, counting down the milliseconds, swiveling my sight in circles.

The city, from far away, sparkles and sprinkles and glitters and glows. Juxtapositions sit at every street corner. The homeless slump by the chatty elite, carry cardboard signs by their fine wine glasses. Angry bright lights glare. Still cold lampposts hang. I play the streets by ear, following the crowd, hoping to god that I’m moving southeast, not north.

The city overwhelms. Screams, honks, turns right because it’s right on red. Showers rain like a garden hose lite, like a childhood treat on summery southern days. Spinning and laughing in a one-piece, now cold and shuddering in jorts, jean shorts.

The city is zha. A mess. Tight cold fear plus high strung steps. I quicken my pace as the alleyways add up and it’s no longer hipster city. I hear there are Cambodian gangs by sixth and that it ain’t pretty up North but in the South it’s just fine. Just fine. Except at home, I whisper–like it’s a curse word and I’m a clean-mouthed spiritual believer–this would be the ghetto.

The city houses nail salon after nail salon. Our nail salon’s next to the gas station. Open doors. First breeze of summer wafts in. A woman with acrylic stuck in her nail drifts in, “you can remove this?” You don’t want new nails? A new coat? “Nah, just get rid of this.” Five minutes later she leaves muttering under her breath because she doesn’t want to soak them-she wants to rip them off.

The city is gritty, the city is loud, the city is terrifying, the city is striking, the city is cold. I skip down the steps to the train, slot in my coins, smile at the receiver who seems unusually patient and friendly. I pace my way back and forth as I wait stonily for the trolley.

The city is a million breaths at once, all breathing, breathing, breathing. And I’m afraid–once in love, but now just afraid.

April 2018

August 2018 | Daily (Weekly) Art

August 20 to Sept 3

Swinging Away, This Childhood

I spent the past two weeks slowly working on this piece, redoing it for the third or fourth time in years. Skies, I’ve come to learn, are deceptively easy to paint.

8.20.18 – 9.2.18

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Revisiting an older piece

8.13.18 – 8.19.18

August 6th to August 13th.jpg

Mountainscape

8.5.18 – 8.12.18

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Somewhere in Greece, a piece I worked on last week. 😎 Not sure if this defies the rules of #dailyart, but in lieu of drawing something small every 7 days, I worked on this larger piece….every day.

The purpose of this art project was to push me to make art consistently, even if I didn’t want to. on the upside, I’ve been churning pieces out! On the downside, sometimes they’re of subpar quality. Stumbling upon older, more elaborate paintings hammered in this realization.

For the next few weeks, I’m going to try & devote more time to fewer, but more detailed, pieces, and to work on them every day.

7.30.18 – 8.4.18

a post about everything and nothing

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  1. Lately I’ve been switching up my makeup routine, opting for a more natural, eyeshadow-y look. I used to go heavy on the winged liner, but a new palette and recent trends have convinced me otherwise. Now I first apply a light brown base to my lids, add a darker brown to the edges, and scrap the lower lid eyeliner–I use eyeshadow instead. The result: a more natural, dewy look, since I’ve also started using light coverage foundation.
  2. Dead by Daylight and Identity V! They’re both survival horror asymmetry video games, the former on Playstation, the latter on mobile. They feature a terrifying hunter that goes around doinking the players, who try to escape by fixing generators. The characters are so well fleshed out. I’ve been playing Identity V constantly for the past few months and recently watching boyfriend play DBD. I am now a proud Level 99 hunter on Identity V.
  3. This week was a relatively calm week for work. Ah! The calm before the storm. Next week will be a busy one.
  4. Remember how I’ve been teaching lots and lots of math? I took a practice GRE today and scored a 164 out of 170 on Math. As for Verbal, which I’ve always preferred, I scored a 160. Throughout my life, I have consistently scored lower on math than on verbal. Seem it’s made a small reverse, now in favor of math….
  5. I began psychology research the past week! God, I’m excited. Psychology research has always existed as some sort of elusive theoretical beast. I’d read about it, talk about it, share it, criticize it, compile it, synthesize it….now I’m finally behind the scenes. The professor’s research also includes topics I’m deeply interested in–children’s education, language gaps, storytelling, etc. I’ve always loved Psychology, ever since I was a child, so I’m really happy to be pursuing this path. Psychology doesn’t hold much weight at the undergraduate level, so I would’ve had to pursue graduate studies regardless of my Bachelor’s.
  6. The other day I watched Crazy Rich Asians, went swimming, and ate Thai. I enjoyed it all. I’m sure there are criticisms of Crazy Rich Asians out there, probably political, but honestly, I liked the movie. It made me feel a healthy array of movie-related emotions and the best friend was hilarious. So was Ken. (“I majored in thought.”) Some scenes were a little outrageous, and I slurped a bit loudly on the Icee, but overall, solid 8.7/10.

Series of Fun Dates | Photo Diary

Everything’s been a blur of work, dates, work and rest lately.

I perused through some photos to see, exactly, what I’ve been up to the past few weeks. They’ve been dotted with a series of fun dates with the boyfriend–visits to the art museum, walks around hipster district, strolls around the lake, movies and dinner, etc.

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Our first trip into the city. We stopped by for grilled cheese sandwiches and bruschetta, then strolled around the shops and homes. I got my art fix at the hipster-y district, which housed some small galleries.

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Later in the afternoon, we ventured to a larger art museum nearby, where I saw works by the Guerilla Girls– in the flesh! I’d spent a few classes in university learning about them, so it was incredibly cool to visit a gallery featuring their work.

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I’ve always loved furniture stores–vast, spacious, and littered with soft beds and pillows and imaginative decor. I tagged along on boyfriend’s furniture shopping for a desk to one of the largest furniture shops in the area, where we hung out for hours.

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The other day, we visited one of his favorite restaurants, only to catch the annual accordion-tuba concert, which ended up being a mix of light comedy and yodeling. Yodeling! I’d never heard anyone yodel before.

The food, also, was terrific. We ordered wiener schnitzels, with fried potatoes and a light chocolate cake.

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Silhouettes by the lake. We took a rowdy walk around the lake after stuffing ourselves full with food, and ended up racing back to the apartment.