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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

A Very Daring Waltz

A Very Daring Waltz

Not too long ago I received The Double Daring Book For Girls by Miriam Peskowitz and Andrea J. Buchanan. I was so excited to finally get a chance to read one of these books because for a couple years now I’ve heard about them and seen them in all the book stores. I’ve wanted to buy the book, but it seemed like it was meant more for younger kids. Which, technically it is….but I’m essentially a big kid and I love this sort of stuff. Clearly when this book arrived, it did not disappoint me.

Miriam and Andrea has filled it with tons of cool activities, stories and history ranging from optical illusions to stories by Harriet Tubman from the underground railroad to explaining how to tie a sarong to how to go to the bathroom in the woods. Because seriously, people…EVERY woman should know how to pee in nature without tinkling all over her clothes. It explains activities and the history of cultures in a clear and concise way…and let’s face it, most of this stuff I should know already…but I don’t.  I couldn’t tie a sarong the correct way around my waist if my bare butt depended on it.   And peeing in the woods? Please…I’ve lost many a good pair of shoes in the attempt to pee without a potty.

That being said, I immediately started flipping through the book when it arrived, deciding what it was I wanted to try first. Candle-making? Nah, not enough leftover wax laying around. Surfing? Already learned how to do that (the hard way—by face diving into rocks and shells) back in college. Make myself a dream-catcher? Not so sure Sean would want a homemade dream catcher hanging within the bedroom. And then I found it…a description of how to waltz and the history behind it. I’ve been on this big kick watching Dancing With The Stars (Gilles TOTALLY should have won!) and perhaps it was time that I, myself, learned the dances that I judged so harshly every week on ABC.   I yelled loudly for Sean, who was working in the other room, to come quickly.

He came running in with his inking pen still in hand. “What?” He looked worried…oops.

“Um, I need your help writing this article.”

“Right now?”

“If you don’t mind.” I smiled sweetly. He sighed dramatically and went to wash the ink off his hands.
By the time he returned I had already found a good song on iTunes….I have no idea the name or composer, but it was a classical song. I had the book propped open on the floor in the middle of the room by my feet.  It took a few seconds before he realized what he needed to do and before he could turn and run the other direction, I grabbed his arm pulling him into me.

I thought that getting into position would be the easy part, but surprisingly it’s more complicated than holding hands and waists while facing each other. As the woman, my left hand lies on his shoulder and my arm is supposed to rest on his arm…only Sean is a LOT taller than me. This was way more difficult than I thought it would be. And of course my other hand was in Sean’s. But that’s not all—in the waltz, you don’t actually FACE each other. The position is more of a “V” shape and you step in between each other’s legs…which makes perfect sense and is therefore easier not to step on each other’s toes.

So next, we focused on the steps. For me (the follower), I begin with my right foot backward, left foot to the side and right foot together. Then left foot forward, right foot to the side and left foot together. You think that’s all, don’t you? Not so much.

“This is easy enough,” Sean looked up from his feet and smiled at me.

“But we’re supposed to be alternating when we’re on our heels and when we’re on our toes.”

“I don’t even know what that means.”

“It means we’re supposed to look like this,” and I started rising up and down like some sort of weird pop-up toy.

Sean looked at me curiously. “We’re supposed to look like THAT while dancing.”

“Well, not this EXACTLY. But that’s the gist, yeah.”

He didn’t say anything but just stared at me.

“Ok, FINE,” I continued, “Let’s learn how to turn.”

This also proved to be more difficult than we anticipated and resulted in tripping a few times. We never quite got the rising and falling part of the waltz, but we did learn the steps and we even managed a few turns.

The awesome thing about this dance is that once you learn the basic steps, it’s fun and easy and you can talk and laugh while doing it…not like tango when Sean and I took those lessons. It was so hard that if I was doing anything other than thinking about the steps, I’d fall. And the great thing about this book is that it describes the history of what it’s teaching as well in a fun, light and informative tone.

Amazingly, we made it through 2/3 of the song before we made a mistake or stumbled…which for the first time waltzing…I’d say that’s pretty good! Does anyone else out there know how to waltz? Care to learn? I challenge you to make it through a whole song without a stumble! Seriously….leave me a comment, tell me how it goes.

The Latest Addition To My Family…

The Latest Addition To My Family...

They’re twins. I think I’ll call them Francesca and Paola. Because they are so obviously Italian.

Here’s hoping that they won’t end up giving me blisters!

The Wall

I’ve hit the proverbial wall with writing. Well, I actually hit it a while ago…but I’m finally now addressing the issue. There’s a scene in Run, Fat Boy, Run where Simon Pegg’s character hits the runner’s wall. And he literally, in his exhausted delusional state, sees a brick wall in front of him which he peers through the cracks and sees himself on the other side urging him to break through. That’s how I feel. There’s a brick wall in front of me and on the other side I can see myself sitting with my laptop urging my other self to hurry up and start writing quality stuff again.

I used to spend much more of my days writing. And not just little descriptions of what I did that day, but short stories based on what had happened to me. I miss those…I feel like I had really hit my stride with that type of story telling.  And I want to make an effort to find that again.

It’s tough though…when I first moved to New York, I was very lonely. I had no concept of how little people actually saw each other…unless you worked together or lived within the same few block radius. Friends whom I had hung out with every day in college, I ended up only seeing once a month. If I was lucky. No one at work was my age, I didn’t like my roommates (at the time…not you, Lindsey!) and most of my friends lived either in Harlem or in Brooklyn. A lot of times I would go sit in Union Square and watch people. Watch everyone else with friends. Yes, I know…a bit self-deprecating, but aren’t we all at sometimes?

And then I discovered New York coffee shops. You weren’t expected to meet any friends there. No one cared if you were drinking alone or if you were meeting with a whole table full of people…they only cared if you sat at that table for too long taking up precious space.  And this is where I started writing. I had always been drawn to coffee shops, but here in my loneliest moments is when I used it to take myself back to times when I wasn’t lonely–whether that was earlier that same week or years earlier in college.

And now that I have many more friends and a very busy freelance job and a boyfriend/roommate whom I see and hang out with constantly and two dogs to care for…I guess that empty space that used to be there (that empty space which had to be filled with writing) no longer exists. And I think my art has suffered for it. I need to find a way to regain the need and the passion to write without sacrificing my happiness. Has anyone else hit these sort of walls? I mean, I’m sure we all have…but I’m curious if anyone has any suggestions.

Catastrophe

I was walking home from walking a dog (Yes, I dogwalk to make extra cash) Thursday morning, when I saw this amidst flashing lights:

Catastrophe

That’s right. It’s a car. That drove through a deli in Park Slope. Now let’s rewind about 30 minutes earlier before I had walked the dog.

I was walking to the person’s house a little before 9am that morning. Literally, it was probably 8:57am. I was famished. My stomach was cramping, I was so hungry. And I passed this deli…Deli In The Slope. I desperately wanted an egg sandwich, but I had promised to be there by 9am and didn’t want the poor dog waiting any longer to pee. Plus, the place didn’t look open, which I thought was odd for a Thursday morning. So I forged ahead…and it’s a good thing I did. If I hadn’t, it’s very likely that I would have been on the sidewalk at the time this car crashed through the window.

I don’t know all the details, except that the man driving had a heart attack when he crashed and is currently in critical condition. But I do know, according to one report, that he crashed at 9:02am. I  missed this by a matter of minutes. Which is terrifying.

A New Studio

I bought this awesome traveling light box to help in taking photographs. And, well, I’m kind of an idiot and when I was ordering it online, I thought that the perfect size would be about 2-2.5 feet. It would be ideal for product and food photography. Only…I screwed up my math. I ordered a 48 inch light box thinking that was 2 feet. I know, I know…I admit it. I’m dumb.

BUT I think it turned out for the better, anyway. Because now I can photograph babies and dogs and even people in this box…as long as those people are sitting.

This was day one with the box…Luna jumped right in and was fascinated by the light above her.

A New Studio

Red, on the other hand, thought this was some form of punishment and was all: WHY ARE YOU PUTTING ME INTO THE EVIL CAGE OF LIGHT?? WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?  And I could have listed numerous things beginning with eating Luna’s food every time I turn my back to the marathon sessions of licking his butt….but I refrained and after one photo let him off the hook.

A New Studio

Hotdogs to the Rescue

Hotdogs to the Rescue

Now, I realize the quality of this photograph isn’t quite up to par with the rest of this site, but I only had my little point and shoot camera on me.

In case you don’t recognize the decor (which I wouldn’t either if I were you), this here is the infamous Russian Tea Room where my parents and I had lunch yesterday. Faberge’ eggs in glass cases surrounding us, beautiful artwork and gold guilding on the walls above our heads. It was really fantastic. And for lunch, a goat cheese blintze, duck-truffle ravioli and a chocolate mousse “pyramid” with a espresso to finish off the lunch.  And this may have been the single most expensive meal of my life…the only price I’ll divulge is that the espresso (one shot) was $8. And it wasn’t anything spectacular.

The food was very good, but portions were dainty and the descriptions of the food made it sound a lot more interesting, tasty and complicated than they actually were. When my 3 pieces of ravioli–yes, three was all you got–were put down in front of me, I quite honestly almost laughed. Then, I leaned over to my dad and said, “I think we’re gonna need to grab a hotdog after this.” My parents laughed, but I was so not even kidding.

Until Proven

Until Proven

Is it me…or does this look like a guilty face?

Rain

(Walking to the gym for a very reluctant workout)

Me: It’s raining!

Sean: It’s just drizzling.

Me: Even so. I wish I had my umbrella.

Sean: Don’t be such a baby.

Me: But what if it’s raining even HARDER when we’re leaving the gym.

Sean: Then we’ll stay and work out longer.

Me: (Long pause) That’s a terrible idea. We could just turn around and forget the gym altogether.

Sean: That’s an even worse idea.

Stylish Food

Stylish Food

Last week, I cooked dinner for Sean and me–I made herb-encrusted tilapia, topped with mango-pineapple salsa served aside steamed asparagus. And the best part? The entire meal was no more than 300 calories…not that I’m counting or anything.

Central Park Elopement Ceremony

Central Park Elopement Ceremony

Melissa and Brent decided to elope in Strawberry Fields a few weeks ago. They were married by this really sweet woman (I believe her name was Beth) from Corliss Lamont. She is an officiant for “humanist weddings” and she was so lovely. I couldn’t hear all of her speech because I was moving around so much, but the parts I heard were really genuine and beautiful. You can find her at www.corliss-lamont.org/

Melissa and Brent had a really intimate ceremony, just them, Beth and myself as the photographer and witness. But after they kissed and were proclaimed as Mr. and Mrs. Peterson, we all noticed that a huge crowd had gathered and was surrounding Melissa and Brent from across the lake…and they all started clapping. It was straight out of a romantic movie!