Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Just Another 2013 Post

I've been seeing this things going around in the blog-o-sphere so I thought I'd get my hands on it & do it for myself… even if its pretty unconventional for me. 2013 was a year for me of many changes, whether good or bad, in all aspects of my life. Although it seems a lot more bad is outweighing the good in '13 I'm hoping 2014 will be full of new experiences, people, happiness and growth all around. Fingers are crossed over here behind my computer screen for all of that.

January: I spent NYE in Manhattan with a million other people trying to watch the ball drop with my ex. NYE in NYC is the most overrated thing ever - don't do it unless you like being in large crowds and a million miles away from anything. The little pink thing in the picture below is Time's Square where the ball dropped…. Lame! Don't go! I also traveled to the Bahamas with my mama for a week because my school gave us a million months off. Many days spent drinking on the beach and soaking up the sun. Definitely missing that right about now.

(NYE in NYC)

(Dolphins in Bahamas)

February: My birthday month! I spent my birthday in NYC again with my family and friends at a yummy asian resturaunt - Nobu. Go! It's so yummy and make sure to get their rock shrimp, it's so good I definitely dream about it on occasion. I also finished up my internship with a photographer in Brooklyn that I had been working at for a few months.

(Brooklyn in snow & fog)

(Me & my good friend from art school)

March/April: Spent these months crazily creating beautiful artwork at my old university in Manhattan. I created a beautiful handmade book of all of my 35mm photographs from the first semester of school. I also became extremely fed up with the school and realized that I was not at the right place. I pushed back at the school before I left to try to create something more challenging for myself, but the staff and curriculum wouldn't accommodate me. I began my journey of searching for other universities under a different major too. March was also my ex's and my four year anniversary. We spent it in AC at Buddakan with free champagne!

(Buddakan AC)

May: Yay! School's out! Finals week at an art school as a photography major is absolutely crazy. Mostly spent hiding and painting, drawing, or, if you're me, all of that plus countless hours in the darkroom. Finals are a lot different at an art school and definitely more time consuming. My boyfriend and I had been drifting apart the last few months. I realized that what I felt for him just wasn't what he deserved and that it wasn't fair. We broke up and went our separate ways.

(My final for painting - a self-portrait)

June: I moved home to New Jersey and settled on a university in Philadelphia. I started my job as a law firm's secretary. $$$$$ Looking for apartments in Philly was madness and I began that craziness in June. Craigslist became my best friend again in that process. I traveled to New Hampshire with my good friends from high school and got to finally experience some real nature. I also began talking to a guy I had dated in middle school towards the end of the month.

(New Hampshire)

July: Summer in Jersey is filled with sun, tanning oil, sand, mosquitos, and humidity. Mine was filled with all of that plus moving into my apartment, working every day, and trying to find time to make it down to my parent's house at the beach. I began going out on dates with the guy from middle school and we realized how well we still got along. I also got my motorcycle license and my motorcycle!

(My baby - Honda CB 350)

August: Most of August was similar to July in terms of the weather, of course, and also with working taking up most of my time. I was finalizing my apartment and moving the rest of the furniture in so I could move permanently in September. I tried to see as much of my friends from high school as possible because they would all be going back to their school's soon. The guy from middle school and I started seeing each other and officially dating.

(Me & a friend on her birthday)

(Me & a friend from high school)

September: Everyone from high school was back at their prospective school's and I was waiting for mine to begin. I finished up my summer job at the law firm. I moved the rest of my crap into my apartment and moved in full-time. My dad and I went to the Muse and Cage the Elephant concert which was awesome! My new boyfriend, a friend, and I went to see Vampire Weekend too which was probably my favorite part of summer. Classes began at the very end of September. 

(Cage the Elephant)


October: My favorite month! I love the fall so much and October is the perfect combination of some warm weather still from the summer that hasn't quite given up, and some crisp mornings of the fall and winter months that are pushing themselves into the forefront. Halloween is also one of my favorite holidays other than Christmas. I spent the time adjusting to Philadelphia and my new school. I also adopted my pup from a shelter Atlantic County, NJ. My boyfriend and I went to The Weeknd, which was a fucking awesome show. Abel fucking killed it and he is so awesome live. I had bought the tickets and were front and center at the venue, minus the pit. Dopest thing ever. October was pretty good to me this year. 

(The Weeknd)

(Oct. 15 - the first day Sushi & I met!)

(Bringing her home!)

November: November was a hectic month, between trying to adjust to regular classes, my family's personal drama, and my boyfriend. I spent most of it hiding in my apartment with my new dog and studying for Biology. I've never been a fan of Thanksgiving and this year it was particularly depressing. My mom and my nana and I spent it at my nana's house. My brother decided he didn't want to go so my dad had to stay home and watch him. I ended up feeling pretty sick too. My friends from high school had their annual pig roast at their parent's house in NJ. My boyfriend and I went for about five minutes before he threw an embarrassing fit and we had to leave. I guess because October had been so good, November had to suck. 

(Sushi looking fall-ready)

(At the pig roast)

(The last few colors in Philadelphia)

(Exhausted from studying for finals)

December: Here we are! I started my blog a few weeks ago and I'm still definitely getting used to the whole blogging thing. So far it's for sure been at least something to do when I'm bored and a healthy outlet. I enjoy writing and I'm hoping someone out there likes reading! December was pretty uneventful. I finished up my quarter at school and got my final grades. No idea how I got a B in my Biology class but I'm super excited about that still. Christmas with my boyfriend and I was really nice. It was my first with a real tree (no matter how unconventional) and our first together. I had gotten him tickets to Anthony Green and that was a lovely night together. He kills it live too with The Good Old War. 

(Anthony Green)

Looking back on this year made me realize how much my life has completely changed in just a few months. I changed cities, schools, majors, boyfriends, friends, basically my whole life. There are a lot of things I wish I could have accomplished and I'm hoping I can/will do in 2014. 2013 was filled with a lot of personal realizations and a shit ton of family issues. Hopefully the new year will bring happiness, love, and way more concerts. If 2014 isn't any better, hell, they make alcohol for a reason. See you in the new year! 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas at the Parents

I haven't had the ability to blog for a bit because I was at my parent's house and mostly I would be hiding at my boyfriend's house without a computer. Sorry!

(Christmas Sushi!)

Christmas at my parent's house was probably a similar experience as everyone when they move out of the house: full of awkwardness and trying to find any opportunity to spike your drink. Our usual Christmas Eve traditions were carried out as usual. The family hangs our stockings on Christmas Eve, reads 'Twas a Night Before Christmas aloud to everyone, and then watches a Christmas Story. Luckily this year I was able to have about three glasses of wine, anisette, and some Maker's Mark and Dr. Pepper. Because of all of that though I was definitely falling asleep after the leg lamp scene during the movie. I was so tired on Christmas Eve I couldn't wrap my presents last minute like I usually do but just passed out instead. 

My mom woke me up at the crack of dawn the next morning. She gets way more excited Christmas morning than I have in over ten years. After peeling myself from my pillow and realizing that I was awake before most of the earliest birds in the morning, I dragged myself downstairs to realize that my parents had put the presents out at God knows what hour in the night. We all opened our presents for a few hours and I sipped multiple mimosas with the concentration levels mostly favoring champagne. Mostly I had received a few books and perfumes I had asked for and this five-in-one music player. Basically it plays any form of music you can think of, from vinyl records to my iPod. It's dope as fuck. Thanks Santa/Dad! I've been playing my Black Keys and Nick Drake records all morning. All in all, Christmas at my house was pretty good this year especially because our family was finally altogether.. and I was drunk most of the time. 

(Christmas Day outfit)

(Mimosas, presents & Sushi)

(Sushi wanting to open her stocking)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Summertime Sadness

It's about that time of year again when the cold just gets to be too much and I begin to get way too nostalgic for summer...

(Stupid at Slightly Stoopid)

I'm seriously going through some outdoor concert withdraw right now. Tailgating in the hot summer sun from two to seven in the afternoon is one of the best parts of the summer. Getting to drink outdoors with all of your best friends and random strangers is definitely a top favorite activity of mine. Actually, really anything that involves getting intoxicated in the summer outside is a favorite activity of mine.

(Dizzy-bat enthusiast)

It's exciting knowing that you're going to see some of your favorite music be performed live especially with  some of your favorite people next to you AND while you're wasted?! Awesome. Sometimes just attending the tailgate is good enough for me - any darty (day-party) is a good darty to me. Often I'll find myself at some random event in Camden, NJ in the Campbell's Soup parking lot in the middle of the day in July. Come find me, I'll be shitfaced by 2:30.

(**Note the Campbell's sign**)

(Obviously sober at Jack Johnson)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

** Warning: Sappy boyfriend post below **

The story of how my boyfriend and I met is so our generation. Rewind to middle school, to pimples, to braces, to me being "scene", to awkward encounters… to MySpace. My next-door neighbor who I had grown up living next to at my shore house and I used to spend hours locked in my room myspace-stalking profiles and looking at stupid youtube videos. She had shown me his myspace and I thought he was cute so I added him. We began talking somehow, I don't remember how that all worked. I probably commented on one of his pictures all desperate. (pc4pc!) I don't even remember how we got each other's numbers or how/why we even hung out in the first place. But we did and we hit it off. Enough to date that summer and I really did fall for him. We took each other's virginity. What I felt for him was real.

Unfortunately, when school started back up in September, he broke it off with me and broke my heart in the process. His excuse at the time was he didn't want to do a long distance relationship - especially with it being our freshman year in high school. LAME.

Eventually I got over it and started dating. I met another guy who I dated for four years. He helped me grow and mature into the person I am today and supported me through everything and anything. Towards the end things got really bitter between us and I broke it off - things just weren't the same anymore.

My current boyfriend and I had remained in touch throughout all the years and, surprise, the two of us had recently become single. We began talking a lot more and when the summer happened this year we started seeing each other a lot. The rest is pretty much history. The two of us have been dating for awhile and what I feel for him his crazy - I honestly don't know how to explain it. He's the funniest person I've ever met and makes me feel something I haven't felt before. We're both crazy and weird together. We're very passionate and extremely strong-willed people, but sometimes it blows up in our faces. Trust me - I'm sure my neighbors think we're crazy listening to us laughing and making cat noises one minute and then the next screaming at each other. Our relationship is crazy just like the two of us, but at the end of the day it's us two, and it is real and it is raw.

(The two of us on Halloween this year)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On Being A Vegetarian

About four years ago I seriously decided that I would stop eating meat altogether and become a complete vegetarian. Well... pescetarian, meaning I eat fish but no one usually knows what that means so I usually just say vegetarian. Even though I do eat fish, it is on the rare occasion. Maximum once a month and I always do try to find vegetarian alternatives when given the option.
Anyways, I constantly get bombarded with questions like, "Where do you get your protein?!" or "So like is it hard? I could never do it.. Don't you crave cheeseburgers? Don't you ever want chicken?"

Ughhhhhhhhhh. Honestly, no - it is not hard. And after watching so many documentaries and reading so many books on the subject, the thought of meat makes me sick to my stomach. I would never eat any meat in the United States thanks to our lovely food industry. I do get my protein from a variety of sources: a shit ton of quinoa, beans, etc. A few companies make some yummy alternatives, MorningStar.. Amy's... that taste enough like chicken nuggets, especially when they're swimming in BBQ sauce (jesus elixir), to hold me over.

(Yes I photoshopped this - yay art school) 

The only time I really run into issues with being a veg is at fast food restaurants. There are rarely any vegetarian options at any of them which is annoying as fuck when you're hungry, drunk, and have about $5, at 2am. Thank god for TacoBell. I am and have always been a diehard TacoBell fan (if you're not you're a goddamn liar). Thank god they have their seven layer burrito, as shown in its natural environment above.

Also, Burger King has a MorningStar veggie burger that I tried today. (gif above is accurate about how I feel - catch me now at your local BK) Make sure to order it with their "king sauce" which is what they put on their whoppers - let me tell you, my taste buds were stoked. Even if you're not a veg I suggest it!

Being a vegetarian/pescetarian has a lot of benefits and it isn't as difficult as some may lead you to believe… unless you're a drunken, broke, college student in the middle of the night.

(or you're Ron Swanson)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Biker Babe.... more realistically just Bike Rider

My father has been a major influence on me throughout my life. I have always for some reason connected with him more than my mother and my brother. We have for the most part, shared similar interests. Minus him wanting me to be involved in some form of a sport that would involve sweating, which has always been against my policy. Some of my first memories involve covering my ears on the back steps as he roared up the driveway to show off another motorcycle that had somehow managed to make its way into his collection. I had taken my stab at riding smaller dirt bikes as a child around the abandoned lot behind a Commerce Bank in South Jersey, but the speed and vulnerability scared me at the time.

("Blazing some new trails" on a Honda Trail 90)

This past summer I decided to finally put on my big girl pants… jeans, boots, and a jacket in ninety-degree weather… and get my motorcycle license. I took a class that consisted of three days of "training" and on the third day was given a certificate that said I am legally responsible to operate a motorcycle in New Jersey. Of course I decided to take the class on the hottest days of July and basically had heat-stroke riding around black tarmac at some community college. The "students" were the strangest bunch of people I had ever seen together in one classroom. The age ranged from me, being the youngest, to probably late forties. Unfortunately, a lot of the people in attendance had already pledged their midlife-crisis-love to Harley Davison and were clad in the most ridiculous outfits. The company had not spared on advertising their logos all over their salad bowl helmets, orange and black jackets complete with fringe and eagles, and some sort of boot variety. I am here to admit I loathe anyone/everyone who rides a Harley. There is just no reason for your motorcycle to alert everyone, including the near-deaf, of your presence on the road. You look, and thanks to their excruciatingly-load exhaust pipes, sound like a tool. Anyway, in case you were wondering how the class went, fine, for the most part, except, the fact that I am one of the clumsiest people I have met to date. I am also almost legally classified as a midget and weigh about 100lbs. Basically the perfect mixture to have a couple hundred pound motorcycle to fall on you in front of everyone in said motorcycle class. Oh and of course the only one to have that happen to over the course of three days. Thankfully, on the third day, I left, a little bruised and sore, with a license in my hand and ready to ride.

(Bikes all lined-up in class)

My dad and I had perused our favorite source of used goods, Craiglist, and met a guy in some lot in Philadelphia to buy my bike. I had caught the bug of vintage bikes from my dad apparently because the fussy kickstart and rusty gas tank had me swooning.  Soon we were loading my 1973 Honda CB-350 into the truck. Unfortunately, because of my height impairments the bike is a little too tall for me to stand flat-footed at a complete stop so the seat has to be adjusted. Now that it is December I'll have to wait for warmer weather to get back on a bike to ride. I can't wait until I get more comfortable on the bike itself and start getting lost on some back roads this year. If you have never been on a motorcycle, on a not crowded backroad as the sun is setting and finally shifting into the bike's sweet spot, you haven't felt the rush and yet complete serenity all at once of this phenomena. I suggest trying it at least once in your life - it's magic.

(1973 Honda CB 350)

(Me looking like a toddler next to my bike)

(Honda CB125)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Finals week has made me obviously irritable and frustrated. (Thank god its Wednesday and I have only one final on Friday!) This is my first "real" college finals week too since I transferred to my current school from an art school in New York City. Finals last year consisted of spending countless hours readjusting my eyes in the darkroom and hunched over charcoal drawings. I loved every single second of it. Unfortunately, the school was extremely expensive, even with my scholarship, and I found I knew way more than my professors. The professors treated it as a joke and most often would agree that art school is a waste of time - creativity cannot be taught. Thus, my transferring schools and into a major in which I also care passionately about - environmental studies. (WATCH OUT FDA!) But, this year finals so far have consisted of my poor attempts at trying to learn ten weeks of cells and genetics information in less than a week. (oops)

Anyway, in the midst of all of this "learning" I have realized how much I miss photography and how important it is as an outlet for me. Unfortunately, I have found over the years as photography has become more and more accessible (via iPhones and less expensive DSLRs) that it has definitely lost its luster at times. All too often I am bombarded with "photographers" who take pictures of girls, who think they are models, and then the photographers edit the shit out of their images on photoshop. I find that this method of photography, although it does get a lot of likes on her Facebook profile picture and on the photographer's Instagram or Flickr, has absolutely no artistic mindset behind it. If I see one more photograph of a girl clad in some sort of underwear or UrbanOutfitters outfit taken by some self-taught photographer, who probably has no idea the differences between f-stops, ISOs, ASAs, apertures, etc. , I will probably shoot myself in the face.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for anyone to pick up a camera and get out there and get familiar with the art form. The problem is more when these individuals are self-proclaiming themselves as photographers when their body of work has no creativity behind it. I'm sorry but your work is just another image taken on your DSLR Canon/Nikon with some girl you kinda know in the center of the frame in some abandon warehouse or a field. Grrrrrrrr. Again, at the university I previously attended I also felt as though my peers' work was extremely uninspiring and that they were just pissing away their parents money… another reason why I left. There were/are a few photographers who are definitely a few exceptions, and thank god that I was lucky enough to get to know them. I look forward to seeing their work progress through the years. For the record, I'm not saying I'm the best photographer out there by any means, I just know that when I set out to take a conscious body of work, I do have some artist statement in the back of my mind that is forming.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Very Traditional Christmas(?)

Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I was raised on the very modern christmas of pulling the "tree" from the attic and stuffing the branches into the always cheerful black pole, that eventually created a tree before our eyes. Putting the tree together was then followed by the extremely spirited yelling from my mother to get the rest of the "christmas crap" from the attic/basement, where my brother, Dad and I uncovered the rest of the dusty decorations. Usually some very festive phrases were muttered at this time such as, "Fuck this heavy ass shit. Who even bought all of this crap?" via my dad. I would like to believe that my first introduction to the lovely world of curse words was probably thanks to Christmas decorating. Usually my dad and I would finish decorating the outside of the house freezing our asses off. Lucky-mom stayed inside and waved from the windows, obviously relishing in the fact that she didn't have to try to unstring the seemingly infinite amount of Christmas lights that were to be strung somehow on the bushes. These lights also always managed to completely cease working in storage and now of course, no longer lit up. Followed by piling into the truck and off to Lowe's to spend $15 on a box of white lights. Traditions in my household die hard and I am summoned this year to drive to my parent's house and go through the same process as always. I can't complain, even though it sounds like a shit show… well okay it is.

(From last year, proof that I do freeze my ass off with my dad to decorate)

Anyway, all of these years of all of these traditions added up and now I am on my own to have my very own first Christmas. I am in the process of creating my own memories with my current boyfriend. This year I decided I wanted to buy my first ever real Christmas tree. Thanks to modern advances, it was purchased via the comfort of my own home on the internet and delivered directly to my door. A little variation in traditions never hurt anyone.. right? (Thanks QVC & internet for existing.) My boyfriend and I strung the lights and decorated the tree and my apartment while listening to Christmas music. Our lights all lit up when plugged in, didn't have to construct a tree from plastic and metal and luckily, we are both pretty fluid in the language of cursing to use at our own freewill. I have to say that I am happy and excited with where I am, in the midst of creating my own traditions. I also couldn't be happier to be doing it all with someone whom I love.

(Our 7'5" tree in its very traditional cardboard box form) 

(The final product)

(Wouldn't be Christmas without "the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window")