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

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

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

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

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

New Year’s Resolutions - 2012

Part of my new year’s resolution (those are three dirty words, aren’t they??) this year is to start styling my hair at least a few times a week. Sean and I both work from home. Which in a lot of ways, is awesome. We get to spend a lot of time with each other and our dogs. But in a lot of ways, it can be really trying on both of us. I’m not convinced that couples are meant to spend THIS much time with each other.

But I digress. In regards to my hair resolution…Every morning, Sean wakes up with the alarm {early, might I add}, showers, dresses, has his coffee, watches 30 minutes of news and goes to his office for a solid 8-9 hour day of work. I, on the other hand, wake up whenever my body tells me the time is right (usually with cheetos stuck in my hair), and sluggishly start the day. I’ll meander out of bed, get a cup of coffee, brush my teeth, check my email…get another cup of coffee. At this point I usually start some sort of work–emailing clients back, etc. Typically, I shower around noonish. And my wet hair gets thrown in a messy bun after I put on another pair of pajamas or workout clothes. The wet bun was becoming my signature style–and let’s face it…a dripping pile of hair on top of your head is just not very cute.

So I decided to something about that. It doesn’t take long to blow dry quickly and then run a straightener through it–20 extra minutes. 15 if I wait until my hair air dries. It takes even less time to scrunch some mousse in my hair and fluff it around.  And I’ve always thought that as long as I was having a good hair day, I could wear anything, any amount of makeup or lack thereof and still be cute. So that’s been my goal. An extra 15-20 minutes of my day to be spent on my hair. A very vain resolution, I admit. But I feel more confident and on days that I’m working on writing my manuscript (and this is a very silly thing to admit, but here it goes…), I find that if I feel more put together–wearing clothes, hair done, a little mascara on–it’s easier for me to get inside of the brain of my character.

And so far so good. It’s been less than a month, I realize, but even still. I’ve been investing this time usually 4-5 days a week. Even if I put my hair in a ponytail or a bun–I just make sure it’s a styled ponytail or bun.

And what’s even better? Sean has taken notice of my effort and now he is making more of an effort to look good. Shaving more often, putting gel in his hair (which he is growing out, thank GOD!). It’s so much easier for boys, but still. I see it as a sign of respect that he appreciates me and vice versa.

Now if only I could get him to wear a nice polo shirt every now and then–I know my dad would be happier.

Frittata Mayhem

Sean: What is this?

Me: It’s dinner.

Sean: This? Is dinner?

I glare at him through my narrowed eyes.

Me: Yes.

Sean: Ok. I require more of an explanation.

Me: It’s a frittata.

Sean: It looks like you screwed up an omelette.

Me: No. It’s a FRITTATA.

Sean takes a bite and chews slowly, swishing the eggs around in his mouth.

Sean: (long pause) You sure you didn’t just screw up an omelette…?

I just glare at him.

Sean: Ok, fine. It’s a good frittata. (another pause) Also–why are we eating eggs for dinner?

Me: Oh, just eat your messed up omelette and shut it.


Marriage is a weird thing, right? The idea of choosing one person for the rest of your life. One person to eat with, sleep with, share income and space with, someone who will no doubt eat the last of the cereal and then put the empty box back in the cabinet, someone you’ll share closet space with and give up some of your favorite items because they’re too girlie for him–someone you’ll eventually create little half-you/half-him persons with. It’s a pretty colossal decision.

I don’t believe in soul mates, personally. The idea that out of 7-billion+ people on this Earth that there is one person and one person only without whom you wouldn’t be complete. I dunno, maybe it’s a little cynical, but it just sounds a bit like bull to me. There are lots of people I’ve connected with in my life. I’ve felt love, I’ve felt loss with more than one person.

Calling your partner your soul mate feels like a cop-out. This story that you wouldn’t have had to do anything and the fates would have still brought you two together. Relationships take effort. They’re not work necessarily, but it’s not always easy. In my mind, I think it’s more romantic–more meaningful to say to a person that out of all the relationships I’ve had or could have, yours is the one I want to be in forever. You are the person I choose out of all the men I’ve known, met and loved.

For those who haven’t heard yet: He proposed. I said yes.

Sean, I choose you.




Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day

For Valentine’s Day, I made chocolate covered strawberries. Initially I was attempting to decorate “tuxedo” strawberries, but as you can see in the surrounding berries, they quickly turned into squiggles. I did manage to decorate one HEART strawberry for a special someone….so WHAT if it’s a wonky heart? IF HE CAN’T APPRECIATE MY ATTEMPT, THEN HE IS UNDESERVING OF MY WONKY HEART.

Luckily, he enjoyed the strawberries…the heart was saved for last.

Risky Business

I am a competitive person. I hate losing. I know what you’re thinking—Duh, Colleen. No one likes to lose. But no—I HATE losing. As in, I take losing the most simple games very personally. Losing in Scrabble? I must be an idiot who didn’t pay enough attention in 3rd Grade Vocabulary. Losing in Pictionary…did I NOT go to art school? I’m clearly not creative enough. But the worst game in the world to lose to—is Risk.

Here is a game that is designed to turn the players against each other. Sean and I have played a couple of times in the past, but it usually results in a huge fight. We hadn’t played the game in over a year—that is, until last week.

I decided to give Risk another try. Sean plays constantly on his computer, so being a good friend, I thought that for once, I’d give him an epic battle for control over the world.

The game started off well. No arguing, no fighting…no one flinging the board across the room. He gained control of Australia almost immediately, and I managed to hold South America. He moved on to Asia while I tried to keep Africa and attempting to gain more countries in North America. Things were even and although we were conquering each other, trying to keep one another from gaining and keeping a second continent, nothing was being done out of spite. That is, until Sean turned in his first set of 3 cards and got extra armies. I had just gained Africa and built up my men along the boarders. I thought for sure I was secure enough that I’d at least be able to thin out his armies if he came after me.

Only, that’s the thing about this game—just when you think you’re going to rule the Western Hemisphere, the dice have other things in mind. I must have rolled a “1” 12 times in a row. WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THAT? So, I lost Africa, along with 12 of my men. I exhaled. It was ok…soon, I’d be turning in my own cards and I’d build up these armies again.

Only, Sean didn’t stop with taking my one continent away. He looked up into my eyes before grabbing those evil Red die and asked, “You’re not going to throw the board again, are you?”

I narrowed my eyes. “That depends on what you’re next move is.”

“I’m serious, Colleen.”

“So am I, Sean.”

He decided to move on into South America and take Brazil. BRAZIL! Not only did he take Africa, 3 extra armies from me, but he stole my continent that evened our scores—HE had Australia (2 men), I had South America (2 men). We were even, but he tipped the scales.

I sat there dumbfounded for a moment as he utilized his ‘tactical move’ and rearranged his men. After a few seconds, he said: “It’s your turn.”

In my head, I thought I’d be cool and collected. I imagined myself tipping my hat to Sean and saying, Well played, sir. Well, played. But instead, my reply was: “YOU THINK I DON’T KNOW THAT, ASSHAT?”

“It’s a game, Colleen—it was a strategy. A tactical move within the game. Nothing personal.”

“Brazil, Sean! BRAZIL! And maybe you should have been considering your tactical moves within this RELATIONSHIP as opposed to this game. Ever think of that? This is the first time I’ve played in a year and you’ve gone and pissed me off!”

“But, Colleen, it’s just a ga–”


My following turn, I managed to get 20 men and the turn after that, I got 45. I swept through Asia and Europe and didn’t care who of my men I lost. There was bloodshed. There was mayhem. And that’s the problem with this game—when you start to play emotionally and focus on revenge instead of taking control of the world, that’s when you know you’ve lost.

At about 2am, we were both exhausted from battle. Sean forfeited to me—even though he CLAIMS he could have won. He still forfeited. I win. He loses. I’m the ruler of the world—including BRAZIL.

Risky Business

A Post In Which I Use A LOT OF CAPS!

It was a rainy day today.  The kind of rainy day that is so  effing beautiful and glorious after a ridiculously humid, hot summer. The kind of rainy day that results in the heat and humidity lifting and bringing in a fantastic 70 degrees with it.  After weeks of sweating my non-existent balls off, this cool, rainy day where I sat in my apartment with the windows and balcony doors open was VERY welcomed.

I had a meeting at Red Horse Café this morning. I put on my galoshes, grabbed my umbrella and headed out for the 12 block walk to the gallery. And I didn’t complain one bit that the rain messed up my hair or that the edge of my pants were a little dirty from mud or that my purse got drizzled on—because it was cool. And that makes all the difference between me turning into a raving, ranting lunatic and a calm, collected adult.

So—I’m walking. In the rain. Some might even say I have a bounce to my step. And about half a block in front of me is a man walking his dog…a beautiful Huskie type of dog.  It’s morning…but it’s not that early in the morning. Maybe 10:30 or 11am.  And as I get closer, I see the man is bent over doing something in the passenger side of his car. And as I take even a few more steps closer, I notice that he’s wearing those mesh sporty short things—you know the ones I’m talking about.  A lot of jocks wear them….they look like basketball shorts. Only, as he’s bent over, his ENTIRE ASS is sticking out.

Now, as a girl who wears a lot of low-rise jeans, I’ve had my share of experiences where I’m sitting and I don’t realize that the top of my crack is showing. I think most people can empathize with that. But I have NEVER had my entire ass hanging out IN THE RAIN and not realized it. His butt literally has rain droplets covering it. HOW CAN HE NOT REALIZE HE IS FLASHING ALL OF PARK SLOPE RIGHT NOW?

So I’m staring. Because, to be honest, I’m not so good at NOT staring at things like this that catch my eye. And he looks over his shoulder at me while cleaning God knows what out of his car, and catches me staring.

And he starts to stand up. Silly me, I think that they probably just slipped down while he bent over and as he stands, CERTAINLY he’ll pull them up, knowing now that I’m walking in his direction. But no. He stands up and makes no effort to adjust—and the simple act of standing doesn’t help the situation either. If anything, the shorts slide down even MORE. And I’m so baffled by what I’m looking at that I notice my jaw hanging slightly open.

The stranger smiles and gives a little head nod toward me.  “You like what you see?” He asks all cheeky…like he was the most dapper of dans within some high class lounge.

And I’m all: “Are you seriously hitting on me with your ASS hanging out in the rain?”  He doesn’t say anything at first and just as I’m about to walk away, his dog goes over to him and starts licking the water off of his butt.


He nearly jumped out of his skin, like realizing for the first time that I wasn’t just speaking in some sort of riddle. That his ass was actually hanging ENTIRELY out of his pants.

It may be the strangest thing I’ve ever seen…I still don’t entirely understand what happened there.

The Thought That Counts

“Thank you for thinking of me, baby.” I stared at the t-shirt in my hands. Seriously? The boyfriend! goes to Las Vegas and this is what I get? It’s the thought that counts, it’s the thought that counts, it’s the thought that counts…

“It’s the Borg! From Star Trek!” He looks at me excitedly…like a puppy waiting for its positive reinforcement.

“Ohhhh, THAT’S who that character is! She’s much cuter as a character,” I run my fingers over the animated Borg on the t-shirt, “Like Peak-A-Choo or one of those cute Japanese characters.” I’m impressed with myself and the fact that I knew who Peak-A-Choo was.

“The Borg IS NOT Peak-A-Choo! You can never compare those two things ever. Again. Or you will be single.”

Now, I know when to choose my battles. Star Trek is what used to be Sean’s mistress…like his dirty little secret. He was embarrassed of her–afraid of what the implications were of obsessing over something so stereotypically geeky. But, you know what, honey? You ARE geeky. And it’s one of the many things I love about you.

And in the past couple of years or so, he finally started to truly own the fact that his dirty little mistress…those slutty Star Fleet Officers…make him a nerd. And I have accepted the fact that I am in an open relationship. Me, Sean…and Captain Picard.

So, this shirt said a lot while saying nothing at all. I accepted graciously, happy that he had thought of me in the city where prostitution is legal, and knowing that it would most likely never see the light of day. It would most likely become part of my pajamas…

However, this weekend at Comic Con……………..

The Thought That Counts

I had a reason to where it with pride. And it was a hit, folks. It was a hit.

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!


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: 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?

Back To Kindergarten

As a comic book artist, Sean needs a lot of photo references. And because he prefers to not steal exact poses from other photographs that aren’t his (It’s a fine line, but he considers it stealing art. I pretty much agree), he asks me to photograph him in various poses for the male characters, and he poses me for the female characters.

So, here I am, on my hands and knees with my body curved in the shape of a “C” but looking straight up, pretending to be one of the hippies begging for money in his next issue. As you can imagine, it’s not the most comfortable pose, but I endure for art’s sake. And Sean is SOOO picky about these things, he’s all: Good, tilt your chin up…good, now move your pinky finger down. Uh-huh and lower your shoulders. Good…”

By this point, my arms are starting to cramp and my back is bursting into spasms.

Me: Take the damn picture, Sean!

Him: Hold on…just move your hand to the right.

I do as I’m told.

Him: Move it to the right.

I move it more to the right.

Him: To the right…

I move even more to the right. By this point my arms is now completely outstretched.

Him: I said your RIGHT!

Me: This IS my right!

Him: Oh, oops. I mean your left.

Seriously? Someone in this apartment needs to go back to grade school. And believe it or not, it’s not the girl crawling around on all fours, who considers chocolate cake to be a good choice for breakfast.


Me: Can I pack a few things in your bag?

The Boyfriend!: Depends what…

Me: Mostly things we’re sharing. A towel, bar of soap, shampoo…

The Boyfriend!: Sure.

Me: …make up, curling iron and tampons.

The Boyfriend!: Um, no. I draw the line at tampons.

Me: What? Why?

The Boyfriend!: What will the men at the security checkpoint think!?

Me: Clearly, they’ll think you’re a homosexual.(sarcasm)

The Boyfriend!: They WILL think I’m gay, won’t they?

Me: (sigh) No…they will think you’re traveling with a woman. Which you are. So you should probably get used to traveling with tampons.

The Boyfriend!: Fine. But then you’re finding space in your own bag for make up and hair stuff.

Me: Deal.