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I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee to decaf when I’m not looking. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they don’t leave grease on your fingers. I’m…

About Me
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As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Katana Photography is excited to announce our first ever Celebrating Survival contest!
Having any kind of cancer is frightening and confusing. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Katana Photography is welcoming all survivors from all forms of cancer to participate…

Weekly Photo
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When I was looking to buy my wedding invitations (back in April), I found a lot of designers on Etsy. After narrowing it down to a couple different designs/companies, I contacted both for their pricing list. One was pretty significantly more expensive–almost $2 per invitation more. Which I think all…

Weekly Style
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When talking to people about photography, I hear one phrase over and over again: Kids and dogs are the hardest subjects to photograph.
I, personally, don’t have this problem with my clients…kids and dogs are among my favorite things to photograph. Maybe it’s because I like to have any excuse…

Weekly Puppies
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Last week, Sean and I had our morning coffee on the balcony and watched as the Enterprise shuttle was pulled down the Hudson on a tug boat. It’s on its way to the Intrepid and I can’t wait to see it up close at the museum!

Weekly Coffee

Thankful

I am thankful that Luna hasn’t attacked any other dogs since February. I am also thankful that none of her victim’s owners have sued me.

Although I miss home and wish I were with my family over the holidays, I am thankful to have such amazing friends in the city who take me in like the pathetic orphan I am. I am also thankful that these friends are AMAZING cooks.

I am thankful that I have not yet burnt down my kitchen making side dishes for today.

And lastly, I’m thankful for my crazy family…without whom, I’d be totally sane. And really–who needs sanity?

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Sludge

Sludge

This is the sludge they serve us at the office. Otherwise known as “coffee” though it definitely doesn’t taste or smell like coffee. Don’t be deceived by that disposable cup or the creamy color in the photograph. This so-called “coffee” is essentially water with a little sugar and a bit of non-dairy creamer.

Girl-Power Giveaway

Girl-Power Giveaway

Who out there needs incentive to subscribe to my website?  Hmm, I thought you might. Well, since I’m moving out of this horrible neighborhood in about a month, I started taking inventory of my stuff. Aaaaand…there’s a lot of it. Stuff that is. You know…shit, junk, crap…superfluous knick-knacks. The bottom line is that I need to downsize. And I’m starting with my books. So here is my girl-power book giveaway. In this package, we have Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, Fresh Off The Boat by Melissa De La Cruz, and You Give Love A Bad Name: Timeless Poems of Tainted Love From the Pop Hit of the 70s and 80s. By the way…if you have a girlfriend who is amidst a breakup, this latter book makes a GREAT gift. (In fact…How do you think I got it?)

So, “How do I win such a cool package?” you may be asking? First, you need to be a subscriber to my blog. Just click on the RSS Feedburner orange logo thing at the top and choose the reader that best suits you. Then, comment on this post. In a week, I’ll write down all the names of the commenters and put them in a hat. Sean will video me pulling the name out of a hat just so you know that I’m doing everything kosher. And that’s all.  Dude, seriously? Who wouldn’t want free books? Especially now that it’s getting so cold out!

A Good Book On A Cold Night

A Good Book On A Cold Night

Next thing you know, I’ll be coming home from work to find her in a bubble bath surrounded by candles and a glass of red wine.

This book, The Shiksa Syndrome, is my friend and mentor-like person, Laurie Graff’s (You Have to Kiss A Lot of Frogs, Looking for Mr. Goodfrog) latest book. We don’t get a chance to see each other often, but she is totally a cool woman and a great writer with a very striking voice.

I just started it tonight (even though it’s been out for a few weeks now…I’m unemployed, people! Cut me some slack!) and I think it’s just so cute and clever. Even though I’m not Jewish ( I guess that makes me a shiksa, right?!), it’s entertaining regardless of your religion. And though it’s definitely written with women in mind, I think that some boys could enjoy this as well. Dogs, too apparently, because Luna seems to be ENTHRALLED with it.

Rag Dolls and Kayaks

Rag Dolls and Kayaks

This photo was taken in…you guessed it…Ireland. Where the majority of my photographs will be set for a while. This store in Round Stone was so tiny that most of the items for sale spilled out onto the sidewalk. And though Sean and I were not in the market for a kayak or an inflatable boat, in that little white basket in the back of the photo, I found an adorable rag doll for Adelynn for Christmas.  I personally think she would have preferred the mini green striped boat in the background, but I don’t think that would have worked well as a carry on item.

A Thursday Conversation With Mom

Me: Hi mom.

Mom: Hi hunny. Been a while since we’ve talked.

Me: (Pause) No it hasn’t. I called you on Monday.

Mom: Yes. It’s been a week.

Me: Nooo…it’s been 4 days. 4 days does not a week make.

Mom: Well, it’s almost a week.

Me: Ok.

Mom: So, how’ve you been?

Me: I’m fine. I have a headache, though.

Mom: Mm, it must be all that guilt from not calling your mother for a week.

::sigh::

Why I Refuse To Share A Bowl Of Anything With Him Anymore

Sean: “Do you want any more?”

Me: More than those two small bites I had? Yes, I want more. Sheesh, if I don’t eat fast around you, I don’t eat at all.

Sean: So you want more?

Me: Grr, don’t do that!

Sean: Do what?

Me: Ask me if I want any more when what you really mean is, ‘I WANT THE REST.’”

Sean: That’s not what I mean.

Me: Buuuuullshit. You just don’t want to admit you want the rest of it so you make me say that I don’t want anymore first!

Sean: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

Me: Oh, you know. Just say it. SAY IT. SAY that you want the rest of it. Sayitsayitsayitsayit….

Sean: Ok!! Yes, I want the rest of it, but I also want to make sure that you don’t want any more.

Me: Ooooh. Someone’s oh so political suddenly!

Sean: It’s true!

Me: THEN WHY DON’T YOU JUST SAY THAT YOU WANT THE REST OF IT?

Sean: BECAUSE I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU WANT ANY MORE.

Me: No you don’t.

Sean: YES I DO.

Me: NO.

Sean: YES.

Me: Fine, fine! You win. I DON’T WANT ANY MORE!

Sean: Cool. Can I have the rest?

How I Met “The Boyfriend!”…

It was painfully humid out.  The humidity in Savannah, GA was so bad that papers within your home would curl as a result of the moisture.

Megan, Eliza, and I had all finished our first day of classes and each had a list of dozens of art supplies “needed” for the quarter.  I use the term “needed” loosely because half of the stuff that I paid exorbitant prices for, were never even opened.  We decided not to go to the student store after hearing that a place in town was a little cheaper.

The store was swarming with students, but not nearly as crowded as the other places we had passed.  We all split up to find our items.  Goosebumps rose on my arms as I walked under the air conditioner. My corduroy overalls made a “zip” noise as the pant legs brushed against each other and the straps kept falling off of my shoulders, down past my dark blue shirt.  The stiff material brushed against the soft skin of my bicep.  I could feel the handkerchief I wore as a headband starting to slip, and I tugged it back into place between pinched fingers.

I reached for something called a rubber brayer.  As my fingertips brushed the hard plastic casing, a deep voice spoke quietly from my right side.  “You won’t use that.  They always say to buy it, but I’ve been drawing for years and have never even picked one up.”

I looked to the right without moving my head, my body frozen in its position.  He was tall, towering more than a foot over me, I’d say.  He had chiseled features, an angular nose and jaw line, and a strong chin.  His brow bone was very pronounced and cast a shadow over his deep-set, blue eyes.  His muscles rippled beneath his black wife beater, faded jeans, and chucks.  Two earrings hung from the cartilage of his left ear and his light brown hair, though short, curled around the outside of the bandana he had tied around his head. His hairstyle did not fit with the rest of his attire, it was much too preppy looking.

I released the tool that was in my hand.  All I could answer was, “Oh.”

He nodded and brushed past me, not smiling but not frowning.  Apparently, he wasn’t much of a talker.

After about 30 minutes, my basket was full of pencils, charcoal, paint, brushes, newsprint, and any other generic art supply you could think of.   Eliza and Megan were already heading to the long checkout line where we were meeting.  When we reached the end, we were about the 15th persons in the line.  Directly in front of me stood the preppy wifebeater guy.  The other girls didn’t seem to notice him, but my weight kept shifting back and forth uncomfortably knowing that he was within earshot.

Eliza had the fullest basket and she rummaged through it making sure she hadn’t missed anything from her list as she spoke.  “Are you guys taking any photography classes this quarter?”

I answered.  “No. I probably could have switched my schedule in order to, but I figured that’s what everyone would be trying to do.” The metal handle of my basket was starting to pinch the skin on my forearm.

Eliza still didn’t look up.  “Yeah, I saw my advisor today.  I didn’t want to have to wait to start classes within my major.”

There was a huff, a stifled laugh almost, from the preppy wifebeater in front of us.  Megan and Eliza looked confused, and my eyebrows rose defensively.  I continued, ignoring his outburst.  “Well, did you manage to get a theatre class in, too?”

Eliza was still looking over my shoulder at the guy behind me.  “No, I could only choose one battle so I went with photography.”  After she finished this sentence, she mouthed the words Do you know him? to me inaudibly.

I shook my head, and when I turned to look over my shoulder at him he was already glancing in my direction with an arrogant but playful smirk.  My lips curled into a smile.  “Smart thinking,” I looked back at Eliza, my voice growing into a crescendo.  “I figured since I was auditioning for the fall musical, I didn’t need to take a theatre class right now.”

This time he laughed loudly, without even attempting to swallow or hide it.

“Excuse me,” I tapped his shoulder with a bony finger, “does our conversation amuse you?”

He put a closed fist in front of his mouth, trying to compose himself.  “I’m sorry.”  He said the words, but it just didn’t seem sincere.  “It just explains so much.” He said this in a way that suggested I was supposed to know what he was talking about.  He paused and I raised my eyebrows, my face returning his gaze blankly.

He continued, “You know.  You being an actress.” He was smiling playfully.

My eyes narrowed.  “Yes, I am an actress.  And that explains what exactly?  My charm?  My beauty? My grace—“

“Your modesty.” He interrupted, mischief flashing in his crystal blue eyes.

I nodded again.  “To name a few.”

“So what are you doing at this school?  Acting is hardly an art form.”

He was trying to get a rise out of me. I felt like I was back in kindergarten where the boy that liked me used to tug on my braids.  “You’ve obviously never seen me act then.”

“Touché.”

“So what is it you study, Mr. Arteest.”

He cleared his throat.  “Well, I am a sequential art major.”  He stopped there, without further explanation.

“And what is that exactly?” I tried to elongate my spine to appear taller in front of him.

“It’s, uh, like illustration.”

Megan’s meek voice came from behind me.  I had forgotten they were back there.  “Sequential art isn’t illustration….it’s comic book art.”

I laughed louder than I intended and had to press my lips together in order to stop. “Let me get this straight…in your mind, comics are more of an art form than theatre?”

His long arm reached around, rubbing the back of his neck, the way you do when you’re searching for something to say. “So…do you live in the dorms?”

I nodded.  “Yes.  Is this what you always do when you’re proven wrong?  Change the subject?”

He smiled.  “Maybe you’ll have to find that out for yourself.”  His teeth were perfectly straight and a shimmery shade of white.  “How’s the food in the dorms? Pretty bad?”

“No actually,” I thought for a moment, my eyes rolling up to the ceiling, “it’s relatively good.”

He was about to say something more when one of the four cash registers opened up.  I could have thrown the palette knife resting in my basket at the sales associate who yelled, “NEXT!” interrupting whatever thought was in his head.  The preppy wifebeater arteest made his way to the counter, taking a moment to glance once more at me over his shoulder.

I was the first of the girls to pay and after I finished I went outside to wait for them.  I wasn’t used to air-conditioning yet, and it was giving me chills.  As I pushed open the doors, I saw him waiting there for me, leaning against the brick of the building with one foot propped up behind him.  I smiled and shielded my eyes from the bright sunlight.  “Well, hey again.”

“Hi.”  He was squinting one eye tighter than the other in the sunlight.  It reminded me of a pirate.  “So I was thinking, the dorm food can’t be that good,” He spoke in an exaggerated tone, “You need a real meal.  Like at a restaurant.  With me.”

I smiled, dropping my one free hand down to my thigh.  “I think you’re right.”  I nodded to him, then added as an afterthought, “I’m Colleen by the way.”

“Sean.”  He handed me a piece of paper with his name and number on it.  As his hand reached across to mine, I noticed him looking intently at my bag.  His direction shifted and he reached in and pulled out the rubber brayer from before.  “I thought I told you that you didn’t need this?”

I plucked it from his grasp and tossed it back into my bag.  “I don’t trust a man’s opinion who doesn’t consider what I do an art form.”  While saying this, Eliza and Megan came outside carrying two shopping bags each.

I brushed past his shoulder and as we were walking home, Liza leaned in to me.  “You really don’t need that, you know.”

I didn’t look at her but spoke through the side of my mouth, “Shhh, I know.  I’m returning it tomorrow.”

Too Much Playtime

Too Much Playtime

This photo is of Maddie when she was about two years old. I lived across the hall from Maddie and Liza at the time and used to babysit a lot. Maddie wasn’t allowed to watch tv very often and movies were only allowed as a special treat, so to respect her mom’s wishes, I would spend the entire time babysitting her playing dress up, and tea parties…we’d put on a cd and dance around, pretending to be rock stars. We’d dance around the living room pretending to be ballerinas. We’d play “parachute” where we would take sheets off the beds and run around, jumping off the couch pretending to be parachuting from a plane. Basically, I had to get very creative with playtime.

And after one particularly rigorous session of play, Maddie collapsed on the floor.

“Hey, bear…you ok? I thought you wanted to have a tea party next”

She didn’t answer, but kept laying there staring blankly at the wall.

“Maddie? You ok?”

“Paci…” she said in a whiny voice.

“Paci’s only for naptime. You gonna nap?”

“Paci…” She cried again, a pout forming on her lips.

I went to her crib and grabbed her favorite green paci, placed it between her lips and watched as she refused to move at all. After a few minutes, I left the room to clean up a little and when I returned, she was fast asleep in the exact position.

I Shop To Save The Environment

I Shop To Save The Environment

I found these recycled magazine clutch purses and change purses at a tiny shop on Greenwich Ave while meeting my friend Frank for brunch.

I could almost rationalize paying the exorbitant price of one of these by justifying that I am supporting recycling. Then again, I can’t afford a $7 manicure…what makes me think I can afford the luxury of a new purse? One I would probably never use. ::sigh::