Saturday, December 27, 2008

this isn't cute

um. still really sick.

the boss called last night. "why are you talking like that?"

"because i'm sick!" i croaked.

"you try to go on vacation and you get sick instead. you should have just kept working".

"yeah. why are you calling?"

"to heal you. can you do this this and this?"

"i feel better already."

Friday, December 26, 2008

topping the list of covenient things

laryngitis on christmas. when you're seeing your whole extended family for the first time in a year.

a tie with:

flying across the country two days after your lifelong friend gives birth yet not being able to see her or her new baby because you have a flipping cold.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

these things are really weird and annoying

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

until someone puts pictures of you in them and send them to you. then they are still weird and annoying, yet oddly addictive and hillarious...anyway, merry christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

okay, okay

ivy katsua perkins (quite sure i've misspelled her middle name)
born december 20, 2008
7.5 lbs
20 inches

this photo was taken only about a week ago, on the day they went to the beach to choose names. and a nice job they did!

Monday, December 22, 2008

part two of crazy big final project finished! now 'all' i have to do is write a business plan and i'm done. but all i can think of is getting to california to meet this little one....

Sunday, December 21, 2008

breaking news! a skiyomi is born!

it's a little girl for kiyomi and skip! and on the winter solstice too, a holiday which kiyomi and skip have always celebrated with enthusiasm, a party and occasionally a funny yule log cake. eddie and maria's 2 and a half week old girl just got a best friend....

okay, i have to get back to my tears of joy now....

p.s. happy birthday to tristan. if shared birthdays are any indication, this little girl will be one awesome human.

p.p.s. i cannot take credit for the above most glorious portrait of kiyomi and skip. it was taken by one of my fellow boat inhabitants in paradox lake...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

the unveiling website!

you cannot access it via the photo above. that is just a screen grab to entice you to go visit the actual site. you can click on the written link above though.

i've been wanting a website for years to post my portfolio. many things delayed me including feeling like my work didn't warrant a site--flickr seemed enough, not having the money or expertise to make a site, not to mention the daunting task of editing. but the kick in the pants i needed came in the form of my three-part final for my 'business practices of professional photographers' class, in which i have to turn in a website, a print portfolio and a business plan. okay, so i'm one-third there!

seriously, though, the joy i felt at one in the morning after staring at a computer for six hours straight (not to mention the countless previous hours of editing down and re-sizing images) beside emre's sainted brother emir (master web designer--i had no idea!) was disproportionately larger than the relief of a final finished. this was a much bigger goal, and my heart swells with pride.

as you will see, i kept the portfolio pretty simple, choosing to show mostly new color work that somehow felt cohesive despite it's random nature. surely later i will add to or switch up the content and possibly provide more traditional categories like black and white, polaroid transfers, etc. but for now, there you have it. now i'm off to print the whole sha-bang.

enormous thanks to emir balik for the web work, and to my instructor and friend, seth, for contributing so generously to my 'about' page.

what are you still doing here? go see it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

phoning it in.

since i'm embroiled in finals and really can't be here to entertain you, and feel terrible about it, i'm just going to have to pass that task off on danielle because this video she posted is hillarious and worth it...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

sugary sweet methods of procrastination

sorry, i know i've been truant. is it a rebellion post nablopomo? partially maybe. but i've also been super busy procrastinating finals with all manner of things that are cute and sweet, like christmas trees and babies.

had the pleasure of meeting diana esther marie la calle yesterday. i figure it's okay now to post her photo, since she's already hit facebook, but i still hesitate as her mother is super private and her father has this thing against my blog (!). fear not la calle's: you ask, i take down post.
ah, yes, but diana. she slept through my entire first visit. this did not upset me, as her parents seemed to need the break. i did peek in on her, and just the sight of her little mane of hair and perfect shoulder brought tears to my eyes.

then it was back to my house to decorate my tree. we all know what a christmas enthusiast i am, yet this party had to be shelved the past two years due to the plague that visited me on and off for over a year. i can't tell you how lovely it was to have a party again! that people could come to my house. without being afraid.
adrienne's little maisy was the life of the party. sixteen month old hipster. she was most taken by the choo choo trains engaging in head on collisions.
then this evening i rushed back to the la calle's to catch diana awake:
and bring loaner christmas decorations to the new little family, alone in the city this year.

looks an awful lot like my tree!

now stop trying to distract me with trees and babies--i have finals to study for!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

happy birthday grandma!

this was christmas of i'd say, 1999? i showed up in my zebra striped heels, grandma showed up in her leopard print coat from the 60's that now hangs i my closet. it was a moment.

my grandma called me 'maverick' after her mother's nickname.

then a couple of villans who shall remain nameless went and ruined it for what seems like forever. will it ever blow over so i can remember her instead of them?

Monday, December 8, 2008

so long, farewell

yesterday as i cleaned the kitchen i knocked into something which of course knocked into something else which of course knocked the very last of my set of beautiful and beloved candy cane tumblers from the dish strainer to the floor. the glass was suspended in air long enough for me to take stock of its value and panic, but not long enough (nor would i be lucky or dexterous enough) to catch. while my clumsiness has schooled me very well in the art of catching myself, i haven't yet worked out the object-recovery side of things.

as i stood surveying the lovely, vivid red shards of glass i lamented the final of the four of this set broken one by one. this was the first one i actually finished off myself (breakage of the other three was handled by a couple of turkish men in my life, both going by the name of fish, ahem).

so why did i pull out the camera? why am i telling you about a broken glass? because i'm superstitious. i could not keep myself from infusing the situation with significance.

the reason these tumblers were so beloved is that they were fancy with a capital F. they were nicer than anything i'd ever buy. they were a gift from a former dear friend of mine who has impeccable taste and always gave me ridiculously beautiful and thoughtful things. these glasses he brought to my annual christmas tree trimming party three or four years ago. said friend and i were co-workers for a solid decade! we were peers for eight or nine of those years, and then, in the end he was promoted. i mention this promotion not because i coveted it. indeed, by that time i was moving in the other direction, becoming serious about removing myself from the comfort and stability of that job that nonetheless sucked me in and consumed the pursuit of all other goals.

no, i did not envy his promotion, yet it clearly changed a power dynamic between us. he stopped making it to all of my events he'd formerly never missed, and the invitations to his suddenly went to those with an eye more trained on our mutual work. our friendship had formerly been about laughing and poking fun at our jobs, and now that i was moving on, i seemed to become invisible.

i didn't get angry. i didn't get sad or mad. i merely chalked it up to life changes. he was too busy now at work to connect. i felt like i understood. but then....but then as i took a season off to do an internship and when i say "off" i'm talking about a FREELANCE job. naturally i hoped that the jobs i was finding in the art world would pan out and i could ween myself off of my old job. but that old job (catering) was a safety net. its foundation is flexibility. you come and go, and it's nice to know that it's there. in new york city, that's what it's used for. it's not about commitment!

unfortunately, the company i busted my butt for in so many different management capacities, helping out in so many different scrapes, became so corporate that they decided they needed to weed people out who weren't 'commited'. this from the number one new york city source for temp work. and although i'd talked to said friend and his boss about even the possibility of coming back after graduation to accept a full time position to aid in paying off my school i'm going on too long about this, i realize, as you can tell, it's an emotional subject. the point is not that i got a letter in the mail from the company telling me i'd been removed from 'the system' and would need to reapply if i'd like to work for them again--essentially, "you're fired". the point is not that i didn't even want to come back. but to bring it back to the glass...the point is: that letter was signed by said decade long friend, without so much as a warning phone call or a follow up to say, "hey, this corporate bullshit is necessary, just wanted to give you a heads up because you're my friend."

and while i really didn't want to turn this entry into a rant or a pity party, clearly i couldn't avoid it. i stood over those shards of broken red glass and thought, well kitty joe, this glass is telling you this friendship is over. let go.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


i quote:
"We are happy to announce the arrival of Diana Esther Marie LaCalle on December 3rd at 9pm, born 7 lbs even, 21" long. Everyone is doing well; Maria and baby will be home from the hospital on Sunday."

Friday, December 5, 2008

running of the mouth

okay, so finally i can take down the nablopomo icon on the right. for those of you who were confused as to why i just wouldn't stop posting in november despite having nothing of worth to say (as opposed to all of those other months that i'm writing epic novels)--it was a challenge. a very tedious and silly challenge that i got much worth from but also drove me kind of crazy. nablopomo stands for national blog posting month. you get the idea. there are over 10,000 people registered, so you feel a kind of kinship in checking in with other sites and sensing their dual frustration. i felt such relief on the day it was over, and ironically, had to fight the urge to write a post to tell you about that big relief. then for a few days i felt like i could never bring myself to post again. and now, back to feeling normal. i know. you really appreciate hearing these mundane details. you really appreciate nablopomo for loosening my very tight lips...

so on to other topics of inundation and tedious challenges driving me kind of crazy: the self portrait class. i can't tell you how tired i am of taking pictures of myself. and what an absolutely horrible model i am. and yet, some of you continue to want to see my homework, so i'll give it to you and qualify as the world's most narcissistic blogger, which is quite a distinction, considering the twisted nature of posting your journal online every day....

for last week's assignment, each of us was handed an index card declaring a body part that our next self portrait had to emphasize. i was given 'mouth'. this was true torture considering it's the body part i've grappled the most with this class. i've learned that i haven no control over my mouth (hey, and i'm not talking about the drivel that pours forth from it--though that, in this case, would fall under the culpability of 'hands'). apparently when i think i'm looking neutral, i'm scowling. when i think i'm smiling, i'm smirking. when i think i'm relaxed, you can see my flexed jaw muscles. very attractive. very frustrating.i was also coming up with zero ideas and getting quite irritated with myself for being such a wasteland of inspiration. then i solved the problem in the way that works best every time--pulling out the damn camera and just shooting. having no 'big plan', i scoffed at my images but my class was shockingly happy with the results.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

i know you've all probably seen it, but just in case...

jack black (and our founding fathers) said it best. 'separation of church and state' people! go and believe all of the frightened, judgmental things you want to about gay people, but don't go writing it in to our constitution!
i'm not going to stop posting this shit. i'm enraged. saw milk the other night in one of the two second rate theaters it was showing at in all of new york city. you know, because sean penn isn't one of the biggest actors of our time or anything. thirty years later and the same religious bullshit is being used to oppress people. how poignantly this movie speaks to our current situation. go see it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


maria, in the hospital today doing what women do...can't wait to meet diana!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

portfolio of a wasted vacation

um, is it really sunday night? sunday night the last night of thanksgiving vacation? what happened to that enormous expanse of time i thought i'd have to organize my dust collection and catch up on homework and write overdue thank you notes and visit with neglected loved ones and and and....?

instead of doing any of that, i've tinkered around laboriously on my two-years-in-the-making christmas gift project. oh my god, if this thing ever succeeds, it's going to be colossal! i've mentioned this before. if i can't finish this year, i will indeed hang my head in shame. what a waste of this time it would be! i mean really, i haven't even finished my homework! oh, but i did bring greenpoint to eddie and maria in the form of an insanely deliscious pierogi dinner. because yesterday was maria's due date. and little diana hadn't yet made her appearance....

so i'm supposed to be putting a portfolio together for my 'business practices of professional photographers' class. and all semester long every one of our guest lectures in the field insisted our portfolios must be consistent. except mine is all, hi, here are some portraits...
um and here are some landscapes...

oh, and while we're at it, how about some mundane life details?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

greetings ms. seagull

a couple weeks ago i called the boss on my way into the studio. often times when i show up he'll be groggily wrestling with his first cup of coffee. but this time his voice was super gravelly, "i'm hungover. and there's a seagull with a broken wing living in my bathtub."

all in a day's work, i tell you. the only thing that surprised me about that statement, was the fact that i wasn't the least bit surprised. perhaps those of you who know about the adventures of mr. squirrel aren't surprised either. oh wait, more squirrel. um, and more squirrel.
let's just say the boss has a weakness for wounded animals. regardless of their historic compatibility in the human environment.

so, yeah, i guess my experience with mr. squirrel primed me to a certain extent for facing a wounded seagull in a domestic situation. but a seagull? i said to myself, not so cute.

but i was kind of wrong. granted, the seagull wasn't quite as cuddly as mr. squirrel and my god, is that enormous quantity of putrid smelling shit really necessary?! all. over. the studio.
yet, as i held the seagulls beak closed (so it wouldn't maim the boss), as the boss futily tried to stabilized its broken wing, i felt a huge connection and compassion for this creature whose nervous gulps i felt on my fingers.

i called her esther. she followed me around the studio for a couple of days--her webbed feet and off-balance gait making adorable sounds on the wood floor. i also really enjoyed donning rubber gloves and throwing sardines at her. it was like i was working at the zoo. but alas, she really wasn't meant to be an apartment dwelling seagull. sadly, her wing had long since reset itself in the broken position. it was clear she wouldn't fly again. so the boss did the obvious. he brought her to a party at a ship in the gowanus canal, where she was embraced as a mascot by the lesbians living on board. i only regret that i didn't get any photos of her total studio domination...

with perfect timing, emre sent me this video which you may have all seen. i particularly love this version though, scottish accents and all....

Friday, November 28, 2008

our lady of moisture

a few days ago, i asked you to all to grace my comment section with a sentence describing me. this was not merely a cheap tactic for ego boosting--though next time i need one, i surely will consult your responses. jeez! you guys are nice!

my assignment, of course, was for my photographic self portrait class. i was supposed to illustrate a sentence written about me via a photograph.

perhaps i should have clued you in to my intentions, because the responses i got, while supremely kind, didn't much lend themselves to the assignment. additionally, my teacher's preference was to ask a semi-stranger for the line...which prettty much left you out in the cold. thankfully, i met a friend of rafter's who was willing to offer up the following:

the sparkly, ginger-topped kitty joe gave me moisturizer i had previously refused.

while the sentence was grounded in mundane reality (rafter asked that i school his drummer in the difference between day and night moisturizer as a way to deter his habit of slathering his face with rafter's night moisturizer twice a day), my mind spun off into the divine, the religious, the kitch. the virgin mary. hopefully the above image made you think of something along the lines of this treasure brought from mexico by kim and tristan:

i imagined our lady of moisture dispensing lotion and more to the parched, withered and bored. the gold frame from the dollar store was a total necessity for presenting the image, as was the sharpie i wrote on the glass identifying our idol as 'our lady of moisture'. convinced?

the outtakes:
i thought maybe the dripping pool of lotion may offend some sensibilities (cause i'm so good at caring about that!), so i tried one with the bottle.

the third shot happened as i walked toward the camera as the self timer was already set.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

what do vegetarians eat, anyway?

first thanksgiving meal down (with a couple of foreigners, no less). one more to go. make room.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

closed for a life celebration.

return tomorrow for the results of my 'write a sentence about me' assignment. it's all finished, but i must leave the house now to support my friend who has lost his father. rest in peace.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

five years

okay, so i realized after i'd posted a photo of emre's brother at one am yesterday that it may have been more appropriate to post a picture of emre, considering yesterday marked five years that we've been a couple and all. that's makes five years and 8 days that we've lived together. don't know that story? another time.

so five years. wow. i thought i'd post some photos from our picture perfect romance (taken recently by abbie during her nyc visit).

what? that's not romantic? it's just like sleepless in seattle around here every day!

um, so maybe if you've met one or both of us you may have noticed that we're a wee bit stubborn. it's our biggest debate: which one of us is more stubborn. this question never gets resolved because neither one us of will back down from our position that it's the other. i think that makes it a tie. but don't tell emre i said that. he's totally more stubborn than i am!

so being that the world and our world has been upside down and chaotic lately (and by lately i mean for the past three years), i wasn't sure if he'd remember our anniversary. no one had mentioned it, but there it loomed. i asked about his evening plans a few days ago and we decided it would be nice to go out to dinner, but of course, neither one of us would say why, sure we'd catch the other forgetting.

when we met at the subway he wore a smirk and handed me a rose. and suckka!--i pulled out a hand picked assortment of nine truffles from max brenner the bald chocolate man and he nearly fell over right there on a pile of locked up hipster brakeless bicycles as the neighborhood prophet yelled at us exactly how the world would end.

okay, better?

Monday, November 24, 2008


today haley and emir got to experience the madness firsthand that usually only emre gets to see. that of me doing my self-portrait class homework. first it consists of me trying five million different ridculous ways of securing my camera into as suitable position, usually resorting to the use of electrical tape and various t-shirts and boxes to prop it up to the right angle. all because i don't have a tripod. whose stupid idea was it to take a self-portrait class without a tripod? i guess it was mine. then they got to see me doing stupid things with chotchskis from the 99 cent store and donning silly costumes and make up. emir was kind enough to be a stand in model for my focus. assignment to follow. it's so not done yet though.
what i've learned: i'm a terrible model. have no idea nor control whatsoever over what my face is doing. had to prop up a mirror to get anything decent at all!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

the stuff of tattooing

found these retro medical jars at a brooklyn medical supply store collecting dust on the top abandoned shelf. took 'em to the shop for a steal.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

help! i need yours!

alright, internet, it's time to pony up. i need your help with my homework. listen, it can't be all fun and games over here all the time.

i know, i know. i'm a cruel person. and worse--it's going to involve MAKING A COMMENT. gasp! i know, heaven forbid. but i especially need you lurkers. i especially need those of you who don't necessarily know me that well.

so here's the deal. i have a homework assignment. i won't tell you what the final outcome will be (till next week when you hopefully see it for yourself). but...

what i need from you is this: WRITE A SENTENCE ABOUT KITTY JOE. a descriptive sentence. that's it. write it in the comment section. just click on the (0) comments at the bottom of this post and write! you don't have to sign in. you can just write your name or anonymous.

now get to it! the time of turkey and laziness isn't for another few days.

please? how about this--i'll send a PRIZE to the person whose sentence is used for the assignment. now don't everyone crash bloggers site at once....

Friday, November 21, 2008

amazing photo by lizeth santos

okay, so tonight i totally messed up. my forever friend rafter called me a month or more ago to let me know he's be doing an east coast tour. i had this great idea that i'd send an invite out to all friends from disparate parts of my life and have a huge party gathering at cake shop, thereby providing a huge audience, sharing my high school buddy and his totally awesomely visionary pop music with my friends in new york. it's been busy lately. but that's okay. rafter wasn't coming till near the end of november.

and oops, rafter called me from the road this afternoon, and gee is it already near the end of november?!

so ola it was.
awesome show though. sample his music here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

a day in the life of...

okay, so it's almost midnight and i'm freaking out because i just got home and see i'm doing this silly blog challenge where i have to post every single day in the month of november....because i have so much free time on my hands these days. i've always thought that i lost readers when my blog went idle, therefore i felt that a nice bi-product of marathon posting would be a reinvigorated readership. this hasn't seemed to happen. but anyhoo. i've made it this far and must prevail!
below i will share homework from three weeks ago, because i realize i've really slacked on that, and hello? easy blog post!
this assignment comes from my photographic self-portrait class. i was to take a photograph every two hours of the day. i thought this would be easy, but i actually found it quite challenging. in fact, i started many other days but was simply too busy to slow down long enough to carry on. finally, i chose a slower day. i feared making boring images. but come what may, here they are...

8am-ish. i rise. emre does not. emre is grumpy that i am taking pictures of the bed while he's still trying to sleep in it. i don't blame him, so i kind of honor his request that he not be in the pictures. but his arms are twisted up too lovely not to include in the composition.

10am-ish. been working from home. the morning light is lovely in the kitchen. my very orderly pile of pressing things to take care of waits messily beside my mobile office (laptop), as i procrastinate and update my blog. the once-fragrant lilies that haley and emir gave me for my birthday drop pollen on the table runner as they die.

12ish. time to leave the house. my favorite thing about working from home--pajamas until noon! i catch myself in the bathroom mirror as i brush my teeth. this scene is actually slightly unusual, as i usually am anywhere but the bathroom as i'm brushing my teeth.

2ish. afternoon light streams into the boss's drawing studio. the drafting table is supported by an old clawfoot bathtub. the chairs have all been used for notetaking. seashells to be made into mosaics litter the floor in mysterious plotted patterns. my desk is on the other side of the studio, with a window looking through the brooklyn ship terminal into the downtown manhattan skyline.

4pm-ish. i've left work early because it's emre's birthday. i point the camera up the brooklyn sky.

6pm-ish. i've met up with the birthday boy and we're running errands. the reflection as we pass 'soft spot' our neighborhood bar, is lovely. emre, appropriately, stands in the 'soft spot' of the frame, that is, the place that's fallen out of focus, as well as bearing the name of the bar. you could take the pun further and say that he occupies the 'soft spot' of my heart.

8pm-ish. we walk together hand in hand.

10pm-ish. dinner at planeat thailand. i stare at the totally awesome 'fountain', which consists of a row boat hanging from the ceiling. many holes puncture the bottom of the boat, through which water falls in streams. some of this water falls into tin cups which hang from the boat's oars, rigged with counterbalances. once the cups of water become heavier than the weights, gravity flips them over, thus moving the oars as though the boat is paddling through the air above. and the whole thing starts over. i've been mesmerized for ten years.

midnight-ish. i stand on the subway platform. the yellow edges of the tracks are a warning not to fall in. they are punctuated with raised dots which massage my feet when i walk on them after a long day of trekking.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

hide 'n seek

rushing off to class. here's my homework. it took me ALL day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ah, the joys of long term love

when labels are being passed out, you may choose to call me a commitment-phobe, considering i've expressed that marriage is not my personal calling and having kids does not interest me. however, you would be wrong. i've spent a startling short portion of my adult life single. more accurately, i have been called a serial monogamist. this means i've followed one long term relationship with another and another. this is not what i've consciously looked for. in fact, i quite enjoyed being single. but what can i say, i'm a libra. i fall in love. and i stay.

this has give me the unique opportunity of being observed very closely in that way that only someone who has woken up beside you for many many years can feel comfortable expressing. generally, from the outside, these observations seem rude. perhaps sometimes they are. like micha, who told me that my spine resembled that of a greyhound, or nicknamed me 'huge' to counter his 5'6" napolean complex.

but mostly i think they are just born out of pure, boring, in depth and involuntary research. and often they make me laugh.

last night emre told me that i swallow 'wrong'.

me: wrong? how do i swallow wrong?

e: well, it's mostly when you're drinking soda or beer. i've noticed this with girls since i was a little boy. they don't know how to swallow soda or beer in the correct way.

me: wait, you've been noticing the way girls swallow beer since you were a little boy. who were these beer swilling turkish little girls?!

usually emre can recognize when he's totally cracking me up to the point that i feel the need to share it with the internet. but not last night. dead serious. which made it all the funnier as this conversation stretched on for fifteen minutes.

and now i can't swallow without listening for my lack of finesse as pointed out by my correct-swallowing boyfriend.

Monday, November 17, 2008

animal meets the swedish chef, meet buttcheeks

kim and tristan reminded me of these few indispensable minutes of video. gym suits, kitchen appliances as percussion, excessively hairy nordic men, flashing cheeks and a bizarrely grandiose set. really, what more could you ask for?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

turn around bright eyes

sometimes song follow me around. does this happen to you? three times in the past three days it's been 'total eclipse of the heart'. naturally this leads me to ponder. what is the significance?! and just as i pondered those achingly heartfelt lyrics on the third day of its dominance of my personal airwaves, just as the music reached its dramatic climax, the waiter rushed to the back and skipped to the next track. i was left feeling completely interrupted, as though i haven't heard this song 9,587 times in my life. but you know, every now and then i fall apart....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

secret daddy*freckle mommy

rosie and daddy
ginger and mommy

from the category of 'one of my favorite families' come the above display of twin cuteness. four special peeps.

oh, but wait! you cannot stop this tsunami of cuteness. kim made ghost costumes for the girls' big birds for halloween.

Friday, November 14, 2008

a welcome welcome

allow me to assault you with a photo perhaps worse than a cell phone would take, snapped while coming up the subway platform stairs, juggling many bags and being regarded suspiciously. but the photo quality doesn't matter here. what matters is that you are looking at a trigger to my most exciting moment this week. this week and beyond.

see, election night was exciting. but when i watched obama give his acceptance speech, i was still in that whole 'pinch me this can't be real' phase. it couldn't actually be happening. then the joy didn't have much time to sink in before the unexpected sting of the passing of prop 8.

so i'm walking up the subway stairs after a long day, schlepping the aforementioned and customary bags of stuff i need for the myriad of activities i engage in on any given day. i see the usual scene as my head clears the top of the stairs. turnstiles and the token booth with its uniformed workers. i've seen this same scene many times a day for 12 years. but this day something different catches my eye. a rip in the usual visual program grabs my attention.

someone in the subway booth has posted a full page newspaper photograph of obama on the wall behind. it's not a campaign photo, it's a victory photo. on the bottom it reads, "president barack obama". when i see this i'm taken completely off guard. i realize i still haven't accepted that i don't have to wake up from this good dream. eight years of seeing portraits of a big eared idiot who i'm ashamed to identify as the leader of my country fly out the window. i feel lighter. shame is lifted, and pride takes its place. i'm so damn proud of my country for making this happen. i start to cry. here i am in the subway having that moment that i was too conditioned against believing could happen on election night. embarrassed, i wipe a tear away and shake my head. "i just can't believe...." the man beside me grins and says, "you gottta take that picture!" and i'm too flustered to even focus the lens.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

my little shop--post renovation

the contractors hired were flakes, so most of the work was done by hand, by us. this is where i spend about 1/4 of my work time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

mr. fish

rented a fisheye lens today so i could photograph the shop for a promotional article. they are so much fun...
just love the slight warp to the guitar neck.

and okay, just in case you didn't know, let me let you in on the pun (while destroying the humor in it for those of you who do know): emre's last name means 'fish' in turkish. get it? mr. fish? fish eye lens. oh i'm too funny.

Monday, November 10, 2008

the war torn left pointer

so apparently i'm starting to qualify as full blown accident prone, as opposed to the simple and less dramatic moniker of clumsy i'd formerly given myself.

no, i didn't slip on the wet linoleum, setting off a chain reaction of a clattering mountain of precariously placed metal chairs. because that wouldn't involve enough blood.

seems like lately i just can't keep from slicing my skin open. you remember the sub incident, right? about a year ago when i elected to pick up a million ton hulk of rusty steel with my bare hands, in the rain? brilliant. we all know where that landed me. in the doctors office after two days worth of people telling me i was going to DIE a painful death of lockjaw if i didn't get a tetnus shot, then getting yelled at by the doctor for not getting stitches before it was too late.

doctor doom took fiendish delight in explaining the consquences--a slow as hell healing process as my desparately trying to mend finger cracked open every time it was bent. how many times do YOU bend your finger in an hour? MORE THAN YOU REALIZE.

yet did i learn my lesson? no. yesterday i was out in the wetlands of queens bailing reeds. don't ask why, unless you want to get in on the fun next time. so i'm bailing reeds and the work gloves i've so poignantly learned from example to wear are driving me crazy. they're too big. they're flopping around and getting tied in the twine. as i chunk them into the bushes in exasperation, a flash of the night of blood creeps into my mind. a warning? a premonition?

but wait, there's a big difference between rusty steel and reeds. harmless plants. right? within five minutes i'm bleeding again, my hand having come violently and perpendicularly into contact with a hard and coiled vine stem. jesus! who knew they were making vines out of metal these days? because really, it felt like barbed wire dragging down my arm and through my finger.

i saw the skin flap open, and then the flood of red. my reaction? total and complete annoyance at what a FOOL i was for taking those gloves off. the clumsy kitty doll should come with a built in set of anti-cut-your-hand-open gloves. like barbie and her painted on underware.

i tried to stem the gushing blood falling out of my hand with pressure. had to walk, pale, hand over my head, trying not to drip blood on my hat, across two lanes of traffic, to get back to the project base and the first aid kit. my cut was pronounced 'not as bad as last time' but less than an inch lower than the last one. thankfully it's not on the joint. so i got all sterilized and neosporized and taped up tight and went back to harvesting reeds. and i didn't even lay down. i know. pretty tough for me. i think my annoyance overtook my squeamishness. but still, when someone said the s-word--you know, stitches--i ran the other way.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

take me to your alien unicorn leader

halloween was 'take your visiting friend to work' day, at least for kiyomi. so i spent the afternoon supervising kids coloring on trick or treat bags and serving as the volunteer p.r. photographer for her organization. it's always great seeing your friends in action at work--such a big part of their lives that you usually only hear about. so it was i found myself surrounded by 200+ kids at a park in san francisco's chinatown, all hopped up on sugar and the 'ghostbusters' theme, which played every fourth song. the above photo is my absolute favorite. i can't tell you why. i just laugh every time i look at it.

not pictured: the unruly bunch of displaced elder chinese gamblers who trickled back into the area when they heard about the free dim-sum. sorry kids! have some carrot sticks.

seeing kiyomi wrangle all 200 kids simultaneously gave me total faith that she is ready to be a mom. of course, i knew that already when she was 8 years old, dealing with a little sister and triplet brothers.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

case closed

on the airplane out to cali for my stealth kiyomi mission, i drafted that post about the yearbook mystery. the strange details fresh in my mind as my hostess welcomed me to her home, i brought it up as a strange curiosity. we sat on stools in her little sf kitchen eating the insanely delicious vanilla ice cream and lemon sorbet (lemon-sicle!) she'd made from the familiar fruit from her parents' sebastopol tree.

me: so, yeah. it's totally weird. my name is misspelled. who is going to send me a birthday gift who doesn't even know how to spell my name?!

kiyomi (face turning pink): hmmm...

me: and who has a sebastopool post office box?!

kiyomi: (face ever pinker): yeah, um...that's strange...

me: it's so weird!

at this point kiyomi's face is not only red, but also slightly shaking with the containing of a secret, her chin retreating back and down with the weight of a failed poker face.

kiyomi: okay, okay! it was me! i had skip write on the envelope and intentionally misspell your name!

aha! mystery solved. apparently, a mutual friend of ours who i'm no longer in contact with was moving out of the country, discovered my yearbook on her shelf, and passed it on to kiyomi. what, i gave it to her to sign and never noticed i didn't get it back?!

i have to admit, it was a little anti-climactic to get my answer so quickly, from the first person i shared the strange circumstances with. however, it was pretty funny to be reminded of what a bad liar kiyomi is.

case closed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

why don’t i just get a subscription to AARP and get it over with?

last week my sister, amy, and i traipsed my niece, allyson, through a shopping tour of manhattan. as i’ve mentioned before, now that allyson is thirteen, her interests have radically changed. not surprisingly, therefore, my suggested activities based on yesteryear produced only scoffing and eye rolling. planets and dinosaurs at the museum of natural history? BORING! ‘miles and miles of books’ at strand bookstore? NO THANKS!

so up and down snooty fifth avenue and through the flatiron district we did traverse, the imposing facades of prada, fendi and louis vuitton sneering at us along with the uber cool and unaffected sales people, giving even gung-ho-allyson pause and reminding us, she’s still our little girl, ‘mommy, you go in first!’

this inspired a rule that excused us from many stores: if you want to go in, you have to open the door yourself. once inside, i marveled at what these labels can get away with selling as such ridiculous, out of nowhere prices. a whole line of shoes looking identical to the trashy end of a bridesmaid heel line wore $1000 price tags thanks to the red sole branding them laboutiens. many items amy and i had to restrain our facial reactions to, knowing for a fact allyson would wrinkle her nose at if they were purchased from the goodwill (as it would appear). instead, these drew excited gasps which were only last year reserved for the latest nancy drew mystery novel. where does she learn about this stuff? why does she care?

the answer: project runway, miley cyrus and the likes of other ‘tween idols.
it’s an incredible thing to watch a younger generation evolve. especially when you sometimes still remember of them as toddlers like it was yesterday! having not chosen the path of motherhood, this is something that’s only recently snuck up on me completely unexpectedly.

suddenly you go from the cool auntie who can do no wrong to just another adult. actually, most of the time i was a little too cutting edge for her, prompting her to beg as soon as she could speak, “take that nose ring OUT!”

enter uncool auntie: at juicy couture, where i felt surprisingly much more at ease, allyson said something teasingly to the effect of, “i’m the only one of us dressed stylishly.”
a quick survey of my outfit yielded nothing embarrassing in my perennial standards, the kitty classics, if you will. i sported grandma’s costume jewelry and vintage blouse offset with designer jeans (a gift!) knee high boots and a cropped black leather jacket (another gift!) akin to those recently showcased in ‘us weekly’ (i know, i should be proud) by Katie holmes and even the young gossip girl crowd. the whole ensomble struck me as rather pulled together. and did i mention my super cute new STYLISH haircut?

such comments from a thirteen year old are to be expected (though a new milestone for me) and easy to shrug off. i remember saying similar things to my own mother. except i’m pretty sure her year-round uniform of biker shorts and oversized animal t-shirts (love ya mama!) were worthy of such commentary.

yet, i noted with amusement, that my ego was still stinging the next day. perhaps i am unrealistically tricked into picturing myself as vaguely and eternally hip and youthful due to the fast paced city environment i live in, combined with my tradition of careful consideration my own unique and funky style.
weird, i’ve been called. ad naseum.
unstylish?! never.

as i performed one last hotel room check after amy and allyson departed for the airport, i discovered allyson had forgotten her new black trench from forever 21 in the closet. on a whim, i put it on, imagining a cloak of style would envelop me and inspire me to go shopping to update my image. but eh, no change really. still looked like me, like auntie kitty. that’s when the realization came.

i hadn’t necessarily become UNSTYLISH, rather, i’d simply become OLD.