The Summer Ennui Post

Summer is an awful time for me. All the Vitamin D coming my way must be messing with my body chemistry because I always experience either crushing depression, euphoric joy, complete anti-social behavior, or become so needy it's sick. Better yet is when I experience a cocktail of all of the above.

I've been known to cry at the mere sight of sunlight. I've also been known to bitch about it for over an hour until the sun finally sets. I've also been known to hole up at home for days on end, never seeing a single soul until someone realizes I've been MIA and drags me out of my miserable state for a few hours of company with other human beings. It's not a pretty sight and no matter what happens, it never really quite goes away until the weather cools and the skies become grey again, at which time my heart gets full, my soul feels at peace, and life is once again worth living.

I think the sun exposes too much. With all of this daylight filling each and every dark corner, where can all my fears and insecurities hide?

I've been trying to take stock of the things in my life, trying to get at the core of the matter. What is important to me, what gives me joy, what gives me peace, what gives me pain, what makes me want to rip my eyes out, what restores my faith, what people I need to eliminate from my life, what can I do to make myself feel better, what can I do to get back to a place where I am OK again? It's exhausting to ask so many questions at once. No wonder my favorite summer activity is sleeping.

Turning 26 doesn't help much either. It's that critical time where you either take a shit or get off the pot. I've always grown up thinking that other people's thoughts and feelings were more important than mine, who am I after all? It doesn't matter how I feel about so and so, it only matters how X feels about so and so. It's an Asian thing, it's a Thai thing, it's a Catholic thing, it's a respecting your elders thing. It's really tough to try to break the cycle and actually listen to your heart after being told it doesn't matter for 26 years. Just follow this road and never question it.

I can already feel that this is going to be a rough summer. I'm desperately feeling the lack of a support system which feels like trying to breathe underwater. Sure, you can make it for a little while but sooner or later you are going to need to find some air or else it's the bottom of the ocean for you.

June is coming up so fast....where does all the time go...


Art crush: Adam Neate

I don't remember the first time I came across Adam Neate but I do remember it rocked my world. He is best known for leaving thousands of paintings on cardboard all over the streets of London, free for anyone to take. I ADORE that. In my angst ridden college days this was like a revelation. I realized that art could exist in the streets among people instead of hanging by itself on a gallery wall. I grew up in LA so I saw tons of graffiti everywhere but I never really thought of that as art. It was mostly illegible tagging and it wasn't part of my vocabulary, it wasn't what I was taught to think of as art. Adam Neate's work changed all that. He helped bridge the gap between the two, not only for himself, but for all of street art too. Nowadays it's common to see street artists in galleries but that wasn't always the case. He still leaves pieces in the streets, even though he is also shown in galleries. Fine art with low art distribution. I dig it.


Art Crush: Yoshitomo Nara

My friend Ethan was the one who first introduced me to Nara's work. I think we were in his apartment. I think he was working on a very abstract and geometric painting loosely based on sperm. I was trying to hide out. He told me about Nara and showed me some of his work. I think the pup cup was one of them. I loved it immediately. I loved the dark lines running through an otherwise pop image. I loved the punk rock influence and sinister expressions. I loved how it was everything I wasn't learning in school. Then I heard him speak a few weeks ago. It tore down everything I thought I knew about him as an artist. But that can be a good thing. It's nice to be reminded that we are all human with our own set of flaws and desires and mistakes. Then I got a glimpse into his studio in this book. That cemented it. He's spent half his life making art. He turned 51 this year and his output would put artists half his age (myself included) to shame. Love him, love his work.


week in review

What a week.

Two shoots nearly back to back which means that this weekend will be spent in front of a computer screen, the least fun part of taking pictures, in my opinion.

Also had an insane toothache which then lead to my very first root canal! I'll spare everyone the details but it was surprisingly much less painful than I thought, even less painful than a filling. Or maybe it was the 3 needles of Novocaine and the 800mg Motrin she prescribed me...either way, good times.

Saw the last showing of Dirty Hands. Almost fell asleep in the middle of it. Yayee for finally seeing it, boo to getting home so late and yet another consecutive night of 5 or less hours of sleep. I think I've slept a grand total of 12 hours this week. Such a bummer.

I am so looking forward to vegging out and going to bed early for once. A rockin' Friday night, I know. 

On the upside, this week I got my beloved D40 back from Nikon! I posted earlier that it had some issues out of the box, well it culminated with complete AF failure and was no longer being recognized as mounted. I haven't had time to test it since it's been back but it definitely looks a whole lot cleaner and they got it done fast. I mailed it on the 29th, they got it the next day, it sat in the El Segundo office over the weekend, and was on my doorstep by Wednesday! Less than a week turnaround including transit time, that is amazing! Let's just hope this is the last time the little guy makes that trek.

While on the photo track, my B+H shopping spree also arrived this week. My lovely and amazing friends got me a gift card for my birthday so I made out like a bandit, thanks guys! Picked up Manfrotto 055xprob legs with 498rc2 ball head, a wireless shutter release (radio not infrared!) and a sampling of 400 speed films for my new Diana Mini! Super excited to try out Kodak's BW400CN film - black and white film that can be developed in regular C-41 color process developer, so convenient!

055xprob legs. Check out the swinging center column!! Hot.

498rc2 ball head. Labeled degrees, separate pan lock and friction control knobs. Now if only they could fit a bubble level on there...

Wired/wireless shutter release. Doesn't need to be mounted on the hot shoe!!

Nothing beats developing your own film and making your own prints, but this is a close second when one is sans darkroom and wanting to shoot film. Illford color process films are also pretty nice, although a lot pricier than it's Kodak counterpart.

Ok, done geeking out now. I'll post pics once I get them developed.


H is for....

H is for Hazmat

H is for H.... who graciously posed for pictures today. 


A part of me wanted to put an apple over the head but refrained. :)


new pics

What to do with a hazmat suit? Take photos, obviously.

Thanks to K and E for braving the streets of downtown LA with me!

New Favorite Toy?

Diana Mini

Picked one up for $95 with flash unit at Urban Outfitters. Use promo code UOUOUO  for 10% off and free express 2 day shipping for orders over $150.