June 2022

  • if this can no longer resonate


    I can’t tell you how much I heard that word back in high school.

    Keep in mind this was the early/mid 90s so gatekeeping regarding music was insane. If you couldn’t name the deepest B-sides of a band’s catalog, you were instantly branded a poser and relegated to the depths. Or if you said that you liked music videos, you earned a sneer and some derisive rant about how MTV is killing the music industry.

    I can’t tell you how many times I had that word thrown at me as a teenager. I’ll never forget one time that two “friends” of mine – who I legitimately thought were good friends – decided to make up some band and rave to me about it. I was actually interested to hear more, and when they dropped me off at home, told me they just made it up, and said that I was just a poser who went along with fads because others told me to. They sat in front of my house laughing while I went inside and fucking cried because I legitimately thought I was connecting with these two people I thought were cooler than cool.

    To this day, when I get into something, I constantly feel like I have to prove that I really enjoy that thing to others. “LOOK, I REALLY DO LIKE THIS THING, I HAVE DONE SO MUCH RESEARCH AND LISTENED TO SO MUCH STUFF.” I think it’s one of the reasons I tend to hyperfixate on things when I first get into them, so much so where it can seem like an obsession. Then it just kind of fades into the background over time.

    I see people who write and make music and draw and paint and sculpt and take pictures and I just want to be one of them SO BAD. But any time I start getting into something, I’m reminded – somehow, some way – that this is probably not the spot for me. I have this constant sensation of “you’re just a poser sitting on the windowsill looking in”. This is how I feel when I write or do photography. I enjoy doing them, but I’m always so scared to show it to the world because I’m just waiting on that one person to come along and tell me, “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE.”


  • this ain’t about regret

    It’s been a couple of days since I posted. I was trying to journal every day but I got sidetracked. For assorted reasons. Last night I had every intention to, but I ended up taking off my nail polish and that turned into A Thing that took like two hours (I had to soak dip polish off my fingernails, and that takes FOREVER). Now my fingers look all bare and stubby, and I discovered that my right big toenail is all bruised. I guess I dropped something on it at some point, but I don’t remember doing that? It hasn’t hurt or anything and it doesn’t feel any different, it just looks funky. I’ll probably let it be for like a week or so, or until I get tired of looking at this gnarly toe and decide to paint it.

    I’ve actually been feeling pretty positive over the past couple of days. I worked from home on Friday, paid bills and had enough money left over to get some clothes. I really need to go shopping today and get a few clothes for work – I have jeans and such but I’d really like some work pants and a few more blouses. As much as I like wearing dresses – and I REALLY like wearing dresses – there are some days during the summer that I’m like NO I DON’T WANNA SHAVE so I end up in jeans, which are even more hot and stifling. Also, the jeans I have are just a smidge too tight, so the entire day I end up feeling really uncomfortable about my body, which always makes that day not so great.

    Anyway! Positive, yeah. One thing that I’ve been really looking forward to – and it’s coming up closer – is my trip to Atlanta to see Stray Kids live. A couple of coworkers and I are heading up on Saturday morning, spending the day on Sunday checking out a few places and then going to the concert, and then heading back here Monday morning. Since it’s over a long weekend, we didn’t have to worry about taking PTO and requesting off, which is nice! I’ve been really obsessed with listening to them over the past couple of months, which is hilarious because I thought I was going to lean hard into BTS after watching the concert in Vegas, but I ended up asking for recommendations on more stuff like Daechwita (from Suga/Agust D’s solo record), heard SKZ, and was pretty much like WELP THIS IS ME NOW I GUESS. I still leaned hard into BTS, but Stray Kids a LOT more. I’m pretty sure my husband is sick and tired of hearing K-pop blaring from YouTube and my phone speakers. LOL.

  • X-Pro Adventures: City Park 2004

    These are the second part of the cross-processed slide film I took on my day out back in 2004.

    The City Park Peristyle has always been one of my favorite places to go in while there. It’s also one of the most frequented places on weekends due to its popularity for weddings, photo shoots, etc. It overlooks Bayou Metairie and is the perfect place to sit in the shade on stiflingly sunny days.

    One weekday evening, YEARS ago (probably 1998-99 or so?), my roommate and I wanted to get out of the apartment that night but we didn’t have the money to go out to dinner or to a bar. So we picked up some cheese, olives, deli meats, a baguette, and a bottle of cheap “wine” (probably some kind of Boone’s Farm), and went to the Peristyle. It was dark except for the moon and the streetlights from across the bayou. We sat out there for hours. Cost us less than $20 all together, we had sandwiches for lunch the next day, and it pretty much cemented my love for nighttime picnics.

    Most recently, my friend Allison and I picked up some Japanese sandos from a popup and spent almost an entire afternoon sitting out there, trying different sandwiches, and just talking about stuff.

    Anyway, back to photography…

    I’d really like to get my hands on a couple more rolls of slide film and do some more cross-processing, although I’d have to check with my local lab to see if they handle slide film anymore. I really like color shifts and looking back on these always gives me a sense of pride. Maybe next time I’ll get pictures of people. That’s actually something I really need to work on – I take SO many pictures of foliage and flowers and buildings, but I am so hesitant to turn the camera on people, especially strangers.

  • my head hurts.

    Ugh, been feeling just like general “bleh” this week.  Not sick or anything, but just mehhhhhh.  My sinuses have been acting weird (not congested, but achy?), I have a constant headache, and I just have no energy.  There’s a lot of reasons that explain all of these (and no, it’s not COVID), but I hate it.  I hate not having energy or focus.  And I know it gets more difficult as I get older.

    The past couple of months, I’ve been fighting a lot of frustration with my body and how I’m feeling.  Went on vacation, then got COVID and was laid up in bed for about a week, then had to roll right back into work and deal with a lot of deadlines and timelines all in two weeks, then having to finally do home stuff on weekends…I don’t know.  It’s a lot, and yeah, I know I’m whining.  But through all this, the most frustrating thing is finally coming to the realization that my body does not “bounce back” or come back from exhaustion nearly as well as I used to in my 20s.  And it is PISSING.  ME.  OFF.

    A lot of frustration comes from the fact that I COULDN’T enjoy these things in my 20s.  Having a good job that allowed me to take vacations?  Going out with friends to try new food and see new places?  Having weekends off and a nice place to live?  I didn’t have that in my 20s. I lived hand-to-mouth, barely able to afford groceries.  I worked retail jobs where I was forced to go into work with strep throat and stomach flu.  I couldn’t take the time off for vacations, much less afford them.  My schedule and bank accounts wouldn’t allow me to go out with friends.  And now that I can enjoy all these things, I’m too damn tired to?  It’s extremely frustrating, and feels more than a little unfair.

    Again, I know I’m whining.  I know there are people out there that have it worse than me, and I hate that for them.  It’s unfair to them too.  But this is how I’ve been feeling lately and I really, really dislike it.

    And I just want this headache to go away.

    I don’t want to leave this on a bad note, or a cranky/grumpy/whiny one.  So I will say that I am grateful for the things I have now.  And I am grateful that I get to do them at all.

  • seriously, don’t blog on ambien.

    Ambien is a hell of a drug.  I really need to just go straight to bed after taking it.  If I force myself to stay awake I tend to have random conversations or even post things that I barely remember.

    Or, worse yet, eat.  :-/

    I know a lot of people have talked about sleepwalking on Ambien.  Luckily, that hasn’t happened to me.  What I find happens is I take it with plans to be in bed within an hour, and by the end of the hour I’m still up, but doped out of my gourd and doing random things.  Or, if I’m watching a movie/TV/YouTube, I pass out in the bed while watching it and either D wakes me up when he comes in and makes me lay down, or I wake up and like three hours have passed.

    Don’t get me wrong.  I love having it.  It’s the only thing that calms my brain and allows me to stay asleep for an entire night.  If I don’t take it, I tend to wake up hourly, and eventually I will just lay there while my mind is thinking of random things that I need to do, or say, or important conversations I need to have, or what I should have said to someone 15 years ago, or awful things that could happen…and so on.  This is the only thing that keeps me asleep the entire night.  Melatonin won’t do it.  Tylenol PM, Nyquil, nothing else has worked.  Ambien was the last resort.

    Tonight, I am going to wait to take it until the very last moment, right as I’m getting sleepy.  Then I’m going to go straight to bed.  C-PAP on, dogs next to me, under blankets, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  No sitting up, no watching YouTube K-pop videos, no Netflix, no phone, no blog.  Pill then bed.

  • Canon DSLR – National Gallery of Art, DC

    The first full day I was out, we went to the National Gallery to use up a little time between meet-ups. We knew we only had a couple of hours and couldn’t see everything, but I’m glad we went because there was no way I was going to be able to see everything there in one visit. I found myself drawn to the sculptures a lot and how the light reflected off of them.

    The piece that hit me emotionally the most was this one. Leonardo da Vinci’s Ginevra de’ Benci.

    I wasn’t even aware that there was a da Vinci at the National Gallery until we were talking to one of the security staff and they mentioned that was their favorite place to just go sit. The four of us only had a short amount of time before we had to leave so we headed up to see it. The room was fairly crowded (the above photo was taken another day when very few people were there), but you could get fairly close to the painting – well, as close as the guards, pedestal, and glass would let you.

    It’s small – the frame makes it look larger – but I just had this moment as I was looking at it.

    “This is a real-life da Vinci painting. And you’re in front of it. You only thought you’d ever see a da Vinci painting in books or on TV when you were little. You thought you’d never get to leave Louisiana. You never thought you’d be able to come to DC, or London, or Los Angeles, or anywhere else you’ve gone. And now, at 45 years old, you’re in front of an honest-to-God da Vinci painting, with friends, in a huge art museum.”

    As we were leaving the room, I asked my friends if we could sit for a second, because I was having a pretty emotional moment. They asked if I was okay, and I explained what was going through my mind. They sat there and felt it right along with me, no judgement, no snark. That right there is why I love my friends.

    And then we left and went to a Tiki bar and had nachos and fruity drinks.

    I went back a few days later when I was toodling around DC by myself, and got to see some of the other exhibits and rooms that I missed the first time around. I was kind of sad that the entire modern art section was closed off due to renovations, but OH DARN I guess I’ll have to go back after it reopens.

  • Canon DSLR – Hirshhorn Museum, DC

    I took a trip to Washington DC to visit some very good online friends back at the end of April/beginning of May. As much as I wanted to bring tons of assorted cameras and such, I also didn’t want to deal with carrying a checked bag AND two or three carry-on bags. (I already have to deal with two carry-ons when I fly thanks to my CPAP machine.) I figured that bringing my Canon DSLR and my trusty 24mm pancake lens was the best option, and it did not let me down. (Well, except for the day I went to the Library of Congress and I forgot to put my battery in the dang camera, but that’s not the camera’s fault.)

    My first full day in, I went to the Hirshhorn to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibit with a group of friends. It ended up being a beautiful day so my friend Jen and I walked around the sculpture garden first before heading in to meet up with others to go through the Kusama exhibit. It was amazing being in the infinity rooms, but my favorite had to be the first one, Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field (Floor Show) (1965/2017). You only get 30 seconds in there, and I went in by myself. When the door closes, it’s eerily quiet, and you’re just surrounded by yourself and this never-ending field of polka dotted fabric sculptures. Standing there for the short time I had, I could briefly understand how someone may begin having odd experiences if they were shut in here for longer than 10 minutes. But I’d go in again, and beg for another minute if I could. The second infinity room, Infinity Mirrored Room—My Heart Is Dancing into the Universe (2018), is beautiful, and gave me a much more joyful feeling, but the doors are also open the whole time, so you can see the outside, which for me, broke up the infinity room aspect of it.

    I have a lot more pictures, especially from the National Gallery of Art, along with another story from there, but that’s for another post. 🙂

  • Lomochrome Purple 100-400 – Sept 2020

    Hello hello! It’s been a while. Things have been…well, I don’t really need to explain. Everyone in the world has been dealing with the past two years of dumpster fires in their own way. A lot has gone down in our lives – things both good and bad – and I’m not where I used to be, both mentally and physically. Maybe I’ll dig into that in a future post that will be more than just a gallery of photos.

    Anyway, after essentially abandoning this blog and site since October of 2020, I decided it’s time to return. Like I said above, things have changed, and I’ve felt myself becoming more creatively charged over the past couple of months. So I pulled my cameras out of storage – both the digital and film ones – and began using them more. I took a composition class with an excellent local photographer, Christy Lorio, and I’ve even signed up for her technical photography class. (I still struggle with a lot of the numbers concerning manual photography – most of the stuff I’ve been doing is all point-and-shoot.) I even took my DLSR with me to Washington DC! I only brought my pancake lens, but it was the first time I traveled with my DSLR and I feel a lot more comfortable about taking it with me places now.

    So while I was digging through photos, I came across a folder of this entire roll of Lomography Lomochrome Purple I shot with my Minolta Maxxum 5, back when we lived in Mandeville. As y’all know, I love the color skewing of cross-processed slide film, so when I saw that this film offered a similar color shift without the need to pay for cross-processing, I snagged a roll of this and of the Lomochrome Metropolis film. (The Metropolis is currently sitting in my fridge.)

    I really like how this shifted everything green to this pinky-purple shade, and also shifted the color of the sky. It’s been a while since I shot this, but I’m pretty sure I did it on an overcast day before fall shifted into summer, so things were still extra green in our yard. Looking at these, it’s just a strong reminder that I need to get back out there and shoot. Film, digital, doesn’t matter, just do it. It brings me joy, it feeds my need to stay creative in some form, and I need more of that in my life.

    I really like the effects of this and want to grab a couple more rolls to try, maybe in Couterie Forest at City Park or an early morning at the Fly in Audubon Park.