it's the end of another year,
the time when everyone gets all reflective about their
lives, relationships, personal accomplishments.
i know quiet a few people who are struggling, including myself.
some more than others, but really, it's all relative.
and i always remind myself that everyone, everyone, everyone is fighting a hard battle.

i'm personally thankful to have completed a whole year here in new jersey.
to have made it through a whole year at work.
which caused me so much distress and pain and humiliation.
but i survived. i almost quit half way. exactly 6 months into it.
turned in my resignation letter, got an interview in another department and all.
but i have proven to be a valuable part of the organization, and mountains were moved for me to stay.
and so i did. and things are better.
its not the best job or the easiest, but at least i can breathe.

i have survived not just the work itself, but the effort it takes to even get there.
which is a battle all on its own.
i think charles bukowski best writes about this in this poem:

gamblers all

sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think,
I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside
remembering all the times you've felt that way, and
you walk to the bathroom, do your toilet, see that face
in the mirror, oh my oh my oh my, but you comb your hair anyway,
get into your street clothes, feed the cats, fetch the
newspaper of horror, place it on the coffee table, kiss your
wife goodbye, and then you are backing the car out into life itself,
like millions of others you enter the arena once more.

you are on the freeway threading through traffic now,
moving both towards something and towards nothing at all as you punch
the radio on and get Mozart, which is something, and you will somehow
get through the slow days and the busy days and the dull
days and the hateful days and the rare days, all both so delightful
and so disappointing because
we are all so alike and so different.

you find the turn-off, drive through the most dangerous
part of town, feel momentarily wonderful as Mozart works
his way into your brain and slides down along your bones and
out through your shoes.

it's been a tough fight worth fighting
as we all drive along
betting on another day.

besides that.
i have survived a year of being away from my
family and friends.
family and friends.
family and friends.
without whom life is difficult to get through.

most importantly, i survived being a mother.
but actually i shouldn't say i "survived" it
because sofia is the one reason that keeps me going through all of this.
and so i thank her and her dad. thank you.
thank you. my loves.

and i thank you, you who reads these posts of mine and looks at my pictures
and even find it in the least bit interesting.
thank you for being a witness to this, this tired existence i call my life.

but i digress.

i really just wanted to share this song with you:

what a joy it is to be alive
to get another chance, yeah
everyday's another chance
to get it right this time
everyday's another chance
oh what a merciful, merciful, merciful God
oh what a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful God

i gotta find peace of mind - lauryn hill


merry christmas gifts to myself. yay!
i love etsy.

(this was a completely impulsive buy...
so i might have buyers remorse later like i always do..
i'll let you know if it works out.)

the description, which also sold me lol:
"The Bella"
Vintage '40s coat
Luxe royal blue wool holiday coat with gorgeous white buttons
from BohemianBisoux

i also finally bought postcards from jen causey...
but mad that someone bought the last ice cream cone postcard set!
i should've bought it before i went to lunch.
now it's gone. boo.

what did you gift yourself for christmas?
i'm sure i'm not the only one who does this... or am i?


sofia getting ready

our guilty pleasure: white mana / "diner of the future" / 1939 world's fair building.

the burgers. it's like white castle, but better.

the snow finally came. all i can think about these days are food and comfort.
life is 2.5 times harder.
i say 2.5 because that's how many hours late i was to work this morning.
it really is difficult, all of it.
where do i begin.

my mantra for today was: "only the strong survive"
the PATH train station on grove st. was packed.
they had to shut down the turnstiles to control the amount of people
on the platform because trains were running on some "special" schedule
which required rerouting to hoboken.
so i waited for the wtc train instead.
it didn't come for a while. i ended up right by the edge of the platform.
which made me fear for my life, thinking to myself:
some one better not go berserk right now, because i could seriously fall off this edge.
i could feel the person behind me swaying.

at last the train came.
i took my time walking and trying not to slip into gray sludge.

i made it to work, eventually. had to stay til 7 though.

tomorrow will be better.

on another note

these pictures were shot a few weeks ago.
when i went all shutter happy.
i've picked up the cameras again for the holidays
and this time i bought some nice film.
i'm excited to see how they turn out.
i don't think i'll be able to develop them any time soon, though.
but... i've got tons of food pictures...
as if you guys don't see enough of those.


H A P P Y H O L I D A Y S !

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currently getting into this band. so weird how i am just now discovering music that's been in my itunes for a while now. sometimes it takes a few spins until my brain latches on. then i'm hooked. kind of like loading film in vintage cameras.


{ su m m e r }

it's getting to be colder, though slowly.
& not like the usual 10 inches of snow that drops overnight in chicago
+ the single degree weather.
i am anticipating it. i feel as if i am prepared for it now.
but still, i am not looking forward to it.

found this roll of film i forgot to develop from this past midwest road trip.

i miss summer already


my awesome friend {homegirl for life} karen took some photographs of our home when they spent a weekend here this past august. i was really surprised when she showed them to me because i had no idea she was documenting the place and it was a mess.. (as always).

but this is why i love her: she's amazing. her style is always fresh and she always has a different angle on things, both in life and her art. she can capture beauty and reality all at once. which is difficult since reality isn't always beautiful. but she's got something not many people have. she captures glimpses of time. her photographs draws you in and requires a meditative pause. and she does this all the time, each moment different from the other. she is thoughtful and she can make your heart swell. what can i say, i'm one lucky b. to have her in my life.

visit her journal. she captures the best bits of life.

she can take your portraits too :)

{thanks homie g. you & i are gonna have some major tea + dessert time next month!}


from a walk around the village and the rest of the roll of lomo film. i had to adjust these on photoshop just because i do not like it so red. i know the film is supposed to be red. but it hurts my eyes. i have 2 more rolls of this film, which i will use in our lomo cameras instead.

i've gone shutter happy the last couple of weeks and have developed 6 rolls of film already. this is insane, i know... and i kind of regret it, because i'd have 1 roll of film from a single day and it lacks variety. i should just stick to taking one picture of anything as the case is 90% of the time i end up liking the first picture i took anyway. so i've stopped taking pictures and gave the cameras a rest. plus we haven't gone anywhere else and most of it is at home.

i asked andrew if shooting film is as good for him as it was for me, because it is just too exhilarating for me. he makes fun of me now saying that i'm addicted and my love for taking pictures is comparable to having an orgasm. hahahah!! yes, we cracked up about this for a good half an hour.

so, is taking photographs as good for you as it is for me? :D


here are the originals and other images i took with the lomo redscale film


i caught "the radiant child" streaming on netflix, which is, coincidentally, also currently showing at the film forum downstairs from where i work. anyhow its the documentary on jean-michel basquiat. i've never heard of him til now and i found his artistic life intriguing. he started out as a street artist in new york around the 80s. from there he became famous in the art scene and even had ties with warhol. he overdosed on drugs at 27.
this a pretty succinct biography.

this painting sold for $6 million.
insight, foresight, moresight.
the clock on the wall reads a quarter past midnight.

i have nothing much to say.
just here trying to ignore these
thoughts overlapping each
other, keeping me from rest.


happy thanksgiving internet friends.

we drove up to westchester, ny and had lunch with our immediate family. we're thankful for a new day and being alive and well. 3.5 hours was spent on the road so we stopped by the stateline looking out to new york. it was really beautiful and peaceful because we were the only ones there. the weather was drizzly and we took pictures while sofia jumped in piles of dead leaves. i took a chance with a newly acquired camera which batteries are hard to find for, and shot without a light meter. on top of which i am using this lomo film which allows you to set your iso between 50-200 to achieve either a desaturated look or the contrary. i am sort of confused about it. but we shall see if it turns out. the rest of the day was spent with the palumbo's. andrew and i have decided they should have their own reality show called, "joe & cherry plus 2... and bob dylan". (because katherine has a crazy do and she looks like him). it was pretty chill and we didn't over stuff ourselves.

now eating leftovers and watching tv all day in our pajamas.

anyhow these are some test shots i took with the minolta srt, which i have been having a love hate relationship with. i am thinking about getting rid of it, but every time i find someone on flickr who shoots with it, i get re-inspired. here are some of my favorite shots with it. the one's with * i had adjusted brightness/color in photoshop.




this book is by a flickr friend long lim, who shoots mainly with the srt. one of the reasons why i wanted to try out this camera. also this story made me want to eat an apple. hence, the apple.