Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Uninstagrammed Holiday Party

This Saturday we had a holiday party at our apartment. We had food, drinks, cookies, music, stimulating discourse and even games though we didn’t get a chance to play any this time. We were way too engaged in conversation. It was so nice. I had to let go of a lot my control issues over how I wanted things to appear in the pre-planning phase and what I wanted to make available that perhaps I couldn’t. I had to leave some things up to my husband and resist being critical of some  of his choices. Oh man, thank goodness for therapy. LOL!

But all in all it was wonderful! I was inspired to have this small party of about seven (one cousin had the flu and couldn’t make it so we were six) because of all the Holiday family gatherings on my husbands’ family side. I love them. I always have. I always look forward to being around the matriarchal holiday hearth, the food, conversation, laughter, children. So this was kind of an experiment in giving back. I definitely want to do it again soon and more often. I like being a host to people I really like. It feels good. And it feels even better to have help doing it, or rather allow someone to help and not stress myself out over trying to make things “perfect.”

But the real pre-Holiday party miracle is this:

I had no urge, not the entire time, not once, to take a picture of any of the party goings on. Not the food, not the guests, not the set up, not my sister in law loving up our cat, nothing. I was too engaged in the conversation, in cooking, in getting the door, hanging up coats, pouring drinks and what have you. There was no documentation of this party except in the collective memory of my guests. That’s kind of phenomenal, especially for a photo report fanatic like me. I guess I was way more present than I expected to be. People together, actually putting down their cell phones, breaking bread and enjoying stimulating discourse, in our apartment no less. Hmm! I’m a homebody who usually likes to be cozied up in my apartment during the late evening hours alone or with my boo but, this could become a thing.

However, I can’t promise I won’t always keep the camera away. This may have just been a freak occurrence.



Photography as Visual Language

The other thing I stayed awake for last weekend was an online class through skillshare with Brooklyn based street photograper Andre D. Wagner. I learned about him and skillshare, an online “global learning community for creators” on vsco where I hang out online weekly tending to my account and looking for inspiration. I was definitely drawn to the fact that Andre is a brother, and I’m also partial to Brooklyn based anyything (LOL!!!) but the great thing about Andre is that his particular shillshare class is very much like being in the streets with him. He narrates and talks with you through the camera. It’s not like a lecture where you stare at someone as they talk about what they do. You’re with him while he’s soing what he does and talking about his process, what he looks for, how he works and what the visual language of photography means to him.

Continue reading Photography as Visual Language

The only Netflix movie I stayed awake for this weekend

I’m not sure what’s been going on with me the past few weeks since Thanksgiving but I’ve just been rushing home after work and falling asleep really early. Like I just throw myself on the bed and pass out. Sometimes I turn on the TV fully intent on trying to watch something but then I just get so comfortable and next thing I know I’m out. This past weekend has been no different except that on Sunday I was falling asleep on and off all day. It was a little ridiculous. I was supposed to get up and go grocery shopping with my husband but I was feeling a tiny bit under the weather so I told him to go on without me.

I tried to watch “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy” in bed for no other reason than because it’s one of those films that was nominated for so many things I figured I should try watching it. It has a stellar cast of actors I love. But no go. It just lulled me into snoozeville. I could hear it playing but I couldn’t keep my eyes open. A few hours later I tried to watch “Kate & Leopold” in the living room. Hugh Jackman is like comfort junk food for me and though I’ve seen the film dozens of times, I thought it would do the trick. I made it a good ways through, almost halfway but I was in and out and in and then out for good. Next thing I knew my cell was ringing and I had to go downstairs to help Francis bring up the groceries. Shortly after that I went into the bedroom again to listen to the new Coldplay album. Loved it.

Put me right to sleep.

Then in the evening as I ate the dinner we made in bed, I decided to watch a movie we saw in the theater five years and was disappointed by, “The Kids Are All Right” the film about a lesbian couple, Annette Benning and Julianne Moore whose two teenaged children find the man, played by Mark Ruffalo whose sperm they used to conceive them and bring him into their lives, causing a ripple that tests the strength and boundaries of their unique family structure.

I really loved Lisa Cholodenko’s other two films “Laurel Canyon” and “High Art” and I went to see this one with high hopes when it was released. It just didn’t do it for me at the time.  This weekend it resonated deeply with me how intelligently it touched on the issues of family bonds, parenthood, relationship and the unpleasant elements that can intrude despite the best efforts of all involved. This time I didn’t even feel sorry for sexy, hairy, scruffy ass Mark Ruffalo’s character when he got turned out into the proverbial cold after participating in the predictable  act of infidelity.

Although in the beginning, he comes off looking all laid back, cool, fuckable and fancy free, by the end you see he’s really kind of sad and at loose ends emotionally, not a bad person, but someone who doesn’t understand yet, what it takes to hold a family together, to hold a relationship together, and how important structure and consistency is towards maintaining trust, intimacy and a sense of security

It was like seeing it for the first time all over again with different eyes. What a difference five years and a good marriage can make.