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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

simple things.

I've had two pretty shitty days in a row. Yesterday I learned that Hunt's ruined my film. Let's talk about this for a second. In all the years that i have been getting my film developed by other people NOT ONCE has this ever happened to me. The manager on the phone called me to tell me it was a new employees fault. Am I suppose to believe that? Am I a total moron? She said the young lady did not mark it as b&w and therefore it got processed as color. Now Hunt's is a serious place. About as serious as it gets (besides B&H and that other place in the south that I can never remember the name of). They have a professional photo lab there. When lets just say the idiot trainee mismarked the envelope you WOULD THINK the smart, photo savvy girl working the machine would realize it was black and white film BC it says BLACK AND WHITE on the side. But no... and now my film is blank. I am investigating tomorrow and throwing a fuss. I re shot today and it was actually a lot of fun. Things came up tho... and what turned out to be a simple agreement has turned into a walking on eggshells nightmare. fuck me. So as I prepared my bag last night for my shoot today, I came across the very few Polaroids I took while in Oaxaca the last time. This one was my favorite. The lady was so sweet. All she wanted was a photo of her daughter in exchange for a bracelet. She then let me take a picture for myself and she gave everyone in my family a handmade bracelet. To this day, I have two purple ones on. I love her. I miss her country. This photo made my night or what is salvagable of it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

target: i love you.

Since I graduated from college, I haven't had insurance. I've always been a freelancer and of course, insurance does not come with the job. I also never had the money to provide my own. Because of this, I have paid thousands of dollars over the past two years for my prescription medication. Until now. I dropped off a prescription at target one day since I did not feel like driving o multiple locations in order to do all my errands. When I picked my my Rx and the pharmacist rang me up, my prescription was $25 less than I regularly paid. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! This week, my prescription went from $54 to $23 just because Target wanted to lower their prices. They have also instituted this unreal $4 Generic Prescription Drug program. This was started out by Walmart in Florida but my general disdain and boycotting of that company wouldn't drive me to buy prescription there even if they were giving them away. The woman at the pharmacy actually said to me she was happy that I discovered their pharmacy and was happy that they could make a difference in my life. Oh hell yes! All my photographer/artist friends with no insurance, hit up target. They want to make a difference no just make money. What a refreshing change.

PS: Their overhaul of the basic prescription bottle is so well designed. Each family member gets their own different colored ring around the bottle of their prescription so you can tell without reading the label who's Rx is who's! Also, the name of the drug and dose is written in huge letters on the top of the bottle so there is no confusing or eye straining to see which medication you need. Good design for all indeed!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

crafting, baking and cameras.

So I wrote this long post about various things but for some reason it was not saved (even tho I double checked) as a draft. Thanksgiving this year was actually pretty relaxed. For once, it was just me and my family. Usually, my family has many friends over and they often drink to much and dance around. It isn't too homey and definitely doesn't feel like the holidays. I asked if I could make something for dinner this year and my mom told me to bake something. I have a love hate relationship with baking. Mainly, I always forget to put things into the mixture or my measures are off by just a bit and the entire thing gets ruined. I cook much better than I bake. But I do make a mean cupcake from the very amazing Buttercup Bakeshop Cookbook. My mom has this amazing cookbook called The Nantucket Holiday Table which I have cooked from before and adore for its amazing New England flavors and local ingredients. The pumpkin lasagna is amazing which I often make with squash instead. This year I decided on a Cranberry Beach Plum Cheesecake. Beach Plum is a local beach fruit and the jelly they suggest using is difficult to find accept in some cute little speciality shops. We don't have those around here really so I went with the other suggestion, red currant. It was my first cheesecake ever (besides the pumpkin cheesecake I attempted to make for JW in fall 2003 without a spring form pan but failed miserably so let's just say that doesn't count) The end product was unreal. It was incredibly simple to make and just what I wanted it to be. JW told me that it was the best cheesecake he had every had before which is a huge honor being as it was my real first try and he is a huge critic (in only the best way of course) You can see a little picture of it on the top left corner of the book picture above but before I finish the last slice tonight, I will take a picture and post my creation online!

In other news (yes, actually crafting news) Denyse Schmidt has inspired me to attempt a quilt this winter. Her designs are so amazing and the idea that quilts can be modern like she makes them really impressed and inspired me. I have no idea how to quilt or even how it to actually go about doing it but I love the all American idea of quilting and making something so warm and cozy from scratch. If you don't want to make one by hand you can always buy one from her less expensive line from Pillows & Throws.

As an update to my post below, I am having a horrible time trying to get my 120 and 220 black and white film developed. I've always done my black and white by hand and when I couldn't I lived in New York City, so finding some place to process the film for me was never a problem. Campus camera, for all their downfalls was my old standby. Its been closed for months now since BU priced them out ot the area (along with burrito max and other long lost establishments). Even Hunt's Photo in Melrose which is a superstore of film, cameras and everything photography no longer develops their own black and white film. It is sent out and developed far away. What is the world coming too? So my final attempt in not having to wait a week plus for the film to come back was going to AIB to do it myself (with the Abby's help of course!) but realized holiday traffic would be horrific and that there were unfortunately, no development tanks for 220 film. So I am back to going to Hunt's to send my film god knows where to develop my film. Analog is really dying, isn't is? I never thought I would see the day. I really never did. But along with my research I found this. I guess development for people has become such a problem that these cute little prepaid evelopes get you shipping back and forth to the lab, processing, and contact sheets, all for about $17.

Another thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is lens quality. I know its a rather boring supject for most of you out there but after getting back to using my Mamiya 645 I missed a high quality lens like the one that is on my treasured Medium format camera. Zeiss has come out with a line of digital lenses called the ZF Lenses which are for Nikon's and not Canons. While the idea that high quality European lenses are starting to be made for digital SLR cameras, even if I had the money their are for Nikon mounts only. Unfortunate. Zeiss, help a girl out! Maybe that's why I am such a huge fan of the Sony Cybershot line of cameras. They are all equipped with Zeiss lenses and the new models have huge crystal clear screens in the back. I'm a big fan of the Cybershot DSC-T10 which is pictured above. It's 7.2 megapixels very slim and compact and oh yeah, COMES IN PINK! I'm not a huge pink fan but I like the idea that this great little camera isn't just a stock grey like all the others on the market. It also comes in black, white and of course silver. Abby has a similar model which has as of seen on her flickr account, takes some pretty amazing photos. I have an older and extremely bulky version of the cybershot which was a christmas gift in 2004 I believe. It is time for an upgrade however. Putting a Canon 10d in your bag to go out with friends makes little sense. It would be nice to have something super slick to play around with. Whynot right?
Photos of cheesecake and the portraits taken are coming soon. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Three little O'Connell's.

I took this picture today during a portrait session with Tina & Tim O'Connell's amazing three girls today. These young ladies are simply adorable and so creative. I had so much fun doing some actually creative photography instead of what I do day to day. I used my Holga, the Mamiya 645AFD as well as my Canon 10d. I'm hoping that the holga images come out the best. It was really odd using an ultra expensive camera like the Mamiya again. I put on my macro lens to do close up portraits of the girls and the difference in the lens quality to that of my Quantary on my Canon is so unreal. Using my Mamiya and looking through that viewfinder make every single frame seem like a masterpiece. I cannot wait to develope the three rolls of black and white film I shot today. The wait will kill me! In the meantime, go to my flickr account and look at the shots I got of the girls with my Canon.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I don't know how to put this. Words aren't my thing, photographs are. I attempt to explain my disdain here sometimes for the things I read or hear. It is rarely well written and I am sure does my argument a disservice but I suppose I will just gave to live with that. I read on a blog today that mentioned Oaxaca and my face nearly turned bright red from the ignorance it displayed. There are a few things some of you out there should know about Oaxaca (since you care ever so much). First of all, it has long been considered the culinary soul of Mexico. It is also one of the centers of not only folk art, but contemporary art in Mexico as well. The population is largely native and this beautiful state and its capital city has worked hard to preserve its roots and beauty. Recently however, there has been political turmoil and violence having to do with a teachers strike and the a call for the resignation of the Governor of the state, Ruiz. Everyone knows the Mexican government to be corrupt and there has been a long tradition of political activism in Oaxaca. The heart that the city and its people have is truly inspiring. Poverty is all over Mexico, most rural places of course have it the worst as is true in most of the world. But don't be fooled. Oaxaca doesn't need your money so that the poor little Indians can buy some beans and clean water. This just isn't the case. What needs to happen is an end to the violence and for the voice of the people of Oaxaca to be heard. What is going on there has drove me to tears and sadden a large number of my close friends as Oaxaca is like a second home to us all. I am glad people are taking an interest in Oaxaca and in the injustice that is being done. But this has been going on for months now. It just wasn't interesting to you until Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore got on board, right?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

wanted: maid of all trades

I am exhausted both mentally and physically. Mostly mentally. The house in shambles as the kitchen is half gutted, half the cabinets are put together and the other half of JW's home gym is set to arrive on Tuesday while the other half is in our living room. Once the kitchen is finish and installed (most of which will take place on Sunday) and the garage is cleaned out and the gym set up, I will feel maybe slightly more sane. I'm picking up my parents SUV tomorrow as my car is falling to bits and needs to go into the shop. It will be nice to roll around in something fancy for a little bit to maybe lift my spirits. Its a lame attempt, I know. Which brings me to my next and final point. If you would like to live in a rather large finished basement for free in exchange for cleaning and cooking... well, let me know (being rad, is a must). I don't think I can do it on my own anymore. You will have your own wood burning stove and adorable animals that most likely will be yr BFF forever. Wow, even that offer sounds lame. Can you tell I'm exhausted?