Saturday, October 29, 2011

collecting moments

I recently saw a quote that said: "Collect moments, not things." I think that's perfect. It sums up what I love about photography and writing and blogging quite well. I'm just collecting moments. Here are a few.

//good morning.

A cool front came in yesterday. I'm enjoying the crisp air and  but I'm also remembering the not-so-great things. Like having to get out of my warm, comfortable bed and into the blustery world so early in the morning. Whyyyyyyy. At least there's breakfast. Lord knows I love me some breakfast.

// carnival.

My elementary school's carnival was today, so I went for a little while. It's fun to gorge on cotton candy and watch the cake walk and the Pringle toss and all the little things like that.

// pumpkins.

We finally got our pumpkins today. Pumpkins are the soul of this season, so I'm happy.

the exhausted

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


{I feel} tired. busy. happy.

{I want} to watch a movie, bake some cookies, and sleep forever.

{I wish} my mom would buy Nutella again. I'm just going to keep putting it on the grocery list until she does. That, and gum. I really want some gum right now.

{I need} some sleep. And better grades.

{I have} the beginnings of holes in my TOMS. Really?

{I anticipate} for this weekend: buying & carving pumpkins, going to my elementary school's carnival, and playing/watching soccer.

{I decided} that it would be nearly impossible for me to write 50,000 words in a month on top of everything else I have going on. But, I still want to do NaNoWriMo, so I'm just going to do the youth version again (cause I'm still under 18, yahpow) and write about 38,000 words. It's more than last year, but still manageable, and I'll feel better accomplishing a smaller goal than failing to meet a larger one. Now I feel excited without feeling too overwhelmed. :)

{I love} brownies, and brownie batter even more. the cool front that's supposed to come in a few days. cats. getting newspaper clippings from my grandpa in the mail. not having any homework after two days of four essays and two tests.


Friday, October 21, 2011

the disposable camera

Several weeks ago, back in September, I bought a disposable camera to experiment with. These things are wildly unpredictable, so I had very little idea how my pictures would turn out. You can't change any of the settings on the camera and even when you look through the viewfinder, it's different than what you see in the pictures.

I got the prints back a few days ago and sure enough, there were some that were completely black and some that were completely blurry. Maybe I'm not being fair, though, because I actually really like how some of them turned out. It's that old, faded feel, you know?

Happy, happy Friday!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

what pictures can't show

completely unedited purple sky. I have never seen it that color before. clearly sunsets are one thing pictures can show.

No matter how hard you try, there will always be some things that can't be shared through photographs, like smells, tastes, sounds, and feelings (and vampires?). Then there are the times when you don't have your camera, so words have to suffice. I greatly admire anyone who can paint a picture with words and make you feel like you are in the scene. That's what I want to be able to do someday. Someday.

Here are some moments that couldn't be photographed, but I still want to remember:

Watching the sun rise on the way to school. Not just the colors and the light, but the quiet that punctures the car. Me, waking up alongside the sun. 

The songs stuck in my head. It's gone from Ke$ha to Starkid to some Spanish song I only know one line of. Basically, it's whatever the people around me are singing. 

The chilly air that has swept down and covered our town. I don't know how long it will last before the temperature rises again, but I'm enjoying breaking out the sweaters and extra blankets. 

The loudness of my house after dinnertime. Pandora is always on, my sister is always eagerly telling a story, and the phone seems to be perpetually ringing. No matter how many times I lament that I cannot concentrate with that much noise, it still continues. Who knows; maybe someday, I'll miss it. 

Longing for the cabin (speaking of missing). I miss different places at the randomest times. Lately it's been my grandparents' cabin in California. I miss the mountains and the lake, and every time I see a picture of either of those, I picture myself there. We're going there for Christmas, and I'm excited because it's been more than a year. I like the snow, the fireplace, the scenery. It's beautiful. You can take pictures of a place, but not of your thoughts of a place. 

Finally, time. How can you accurately document time passing? I don't think you can. The flurry of moments that all seem to blend together combined with the disbelief of how quickly they fly by. That's how I feel right now. I can't believe it's already October 19th, more than halfway through the month. I'm probably going to be busy busy busy for a while -- definitely in November as I'm, uh, writing a novel -- but it's mostly a good busy.

Happy middle-of-the-week! 


Saturday, October 15, 2011

headache-induced ramblings

Somewhere in this world, there is a girl sitting cross-legged on her bed. She is drinking peach tea and eating a chocolate chip cookie and typing away on an iPad that is not hers. There is a faint aching in the back of her head, probably from that afternoon's soccer game. She doesn't want to talk about that. Instead, she takes another sip from her warm mug and looks around her. She is surrounded by notebooks, pens, and a dictionary, all gateways to words. She will admit proudly to having read the dictionary earlier. Where else can you find words like eleemosynary? What a strange word. The girl stops typing for a minute and gets up to brush her hair. Settling back into the sheets, she pushes away her worries once more. All the things she has to tell herself, don't think about that.

The words stop coming as fast. It's just a trickle now. The iPad is at 38% battery. It's only 8:33. She remembers a time long ago when that was late. Not so anymore. But the tea is becoming lukewarm and the girl feels like she has said all there is to say. None of it is deep, or poetic, but it's what she wanted to write. That's all that matters, she thinks, promising herself longer, better posts soon.

And so she presses publish.

Friday, October 14, 2011

i'm just happy i made it to friday

This week was kinda hectic. Juggling homework in seven classes, soccer, guitar, church and other things at home can get crazy. On top of all that, I was thinking about doing tech theater for our school's play this winter. I was about to sign up, but then today I found out there was no more room. To be honest, I was really disappointed. I thought I was doing the right thing by reaching out, trying something new, and getting involved.  All my friends are going to be in it, and I was excited. But, you know, maybe this is just a way of saying I need to focus on other things right now. And there's always next year.

These days just by. It's hard to believe it's already been a week since I was in Boston. Crazy. I miss that foliage, but Texas has its perks. Like, um, uh, I'll get back to you on that one. {I told my dad the other day when it was really hot that I was getting out of here as soon as I could and never moving back. I need someplace pretty, please. And maybe not so conservative. I like my city but the landscape is not so attractive, eh?}

That's from Boston. If I saw anything like that here, I'd probably start hyperventilating. Maybe. We're still getting into the spirit of the season, though. Our pumpkin lights are up and the weather is maybe sometimes just a little bit cooler. It's the small things, right?

Well, I hear some pizza calling my name. Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

a weekend trip to boston

So this is what it's like to not blog for six days. I'd say I'm sorry, but in all honesty, dear blog, I owe you nothing. I've just been insanely busy with all sorts of things. But because deep down I really do love you, here's a long post.

So...this weekend, I went to Boston. I went to visit my cousin, because she probably won't live in America again for a while (the last time I got to visit her home was when she lived in CA in second grade), because it was a three day weekend, and because I worked on my parents for months beforehand. Now, when I say Boston, I really mean the greater Boston area, like Cambridge and Belmont, where they just moved.

My dad and I got into Boston late Friday night. The next morning, we met up with my aunt and cousin Clarissa. We went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It has this lovely garden in the middle and rooms all around it furnished with lots of paintings. We even saw a letter written by Marie Antoinette -- I thought that was pretty neat. Unfortunately, as is the case with many museums, there was no photography permitted.

After that, we walked around a little bit before getting some Japanese food for lunch. I'm not a big fish or seafood all...but I make do.

The rest of the day, I hung out at my cousin's house, helped her with her photography homework, watched her brother do yard work, and took a lot of pictures myself. I found the prettiest leaf. Do you see that? Gorgeous.

Dinner that night was provided by my cousins' other (Italian) grandparents. Let's pretend that picture is intentionally out of focus, shall we?

The next day Clarissa and I took a bus to Harvard Square. We explored the campus a bit. It was very green compared to Texas. I probably remarked about that a lot, but well, what else can I say?

Then we met her friend to do some shopping. We went to the Garment District. It's this thrift store that has a dollar-per-pound section, where there is a whole room literally covered with clothes. You have to sit there and dig through for a while, but you can find some pretty nice stuff for really cheap.

Also, there is a stop with my name!

We stopped for a snack before exploring a bit more of the city.

Monday morning we went to look at the Columbus Day festivities happening. It was warm, but it looked especially autumnal.

Then we went to the Museum of Fine Arts. My family really likes museums, in case you haven't noticed. Like, a lot. Anyway. The most astonishing thing about this one was the fact that you could take pictures!

I was wondered, all right.

I saw some paintings. Yes, I did. I'm getting tired and so first-grade sentences are all you're going to get, blog. Didn't we already talk about this?

So that, for the most part, was my weekend in Boston. It was lovely and fun and all together too short. Three days are really not enough to know a city, so I hope I can go back someday and have more time to explore. Until then, I have plenty of memories and photos to tide me over. :)

I'll probably share a few leftover pictures later, but right now I want to go paint my nails or eat dessert or watch TV. Hopefully all three. Happy Tuesday!


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

golden october

I can't believe it's already October. I know, I know, it's the fifth day already, but still. It seems like it was just summertime, and now it's already the second six weeks of school? *insert a 'where has the time gone' spiel here* Things are as busy as ever here. It's one thing to another with little respite in between. That's not to say I'm not enjoying it, but it's all very fast!

I had a field trip to an art museum today. I like art museums; I like the way it sounds when you walk and how the paintings are reflected on the shiny waxed floor and just the art in general. That was most of the morning. Then, we got back to school in time for last period of the day. We were just contentedly drawing and then this terrible, ear-piercing siren comes on and we all have to go outside. It was a fire drill, but we didn't know that at the time. With the conditions like they are, and so many wildfires around, I wouldn't have been too surprised if it wasn't a drill. But because nothing that dramatic ever happens to me (not that I want my school to burn down!!) everything was fine.

I got home, checked blogs, did confirmation homework, had a snack, started English homework, ate dinner, went to confirmation class, and now I have my World History documents open which, let's face it, is practically the equivalent to working on it. That's my uber-exciting day. But speaking of exciting...

I get to see my cousins on Friday! Two of 'em, anyway. I am super pumped because a) the last time I visited them at their house, I was in second grade, b) I have always wanted to see New England in the fall, c) There is a HIGH temperature of 62 degrees! High! And the low is 48! What does one wear in that sort of weather, anyway? I have no earthly idea. Oh, and d) Because I love my family. And I love traveling.

There'll be more on that later. Right now, I have some homework calling my name! Actually, it is slowly being drowned out by the voices of Modern Family and a popsicle, but you know, I'm working on it. I want to have good grades this time. Sigh.

Hope you're having a happy, golden October so far!


P.S. Some follow up on my last post: My blog isn't my diary, and there will always be things I don't share here. I certainly don't recommend ranting about specific people at your school on your public blog -- things like that will come back to haunt you -- and no one wants to read a blog made up entirely of complaints. But it's not a bad thing to acknowledge the things in your life that are wrong, you know. It's not bad to talk about trivial things, either. Just don't be afraid to be real. Basically, I think, as with most things in life, it's important to maintain a balance. But these are just my thoughts; you're free to post whatever you want. It's your blog, after all.
I just want to thank you for all the nice things you had to say. I enjoyed reading your comments. :)

Monday, October 03, 2011

perfect is only a facade

I've talked about jealousy before on here, but I've continued to think about it so I thought I'd follow it up and expound a little. Specifically, I want to talk about the perfection perpetuated by blogging, how it makes me feel, and what can help get rid of it.

Some blogs are emotional dumping grounds, which is fine, but most of the ones I follow are filled with stunning photography and/or well-formulated words about life. That's a lot of what I like to read and what inspires me, so that's just fine. But sometimes, when reading a blog, I just have to shake my head. It's too perfect. When every sentence has some variation of the word "happy" or "love". When there are dozens of comments proclaiming how talented said blogger is. And when I'm hard pressed to find anything I can identify with. 

All those posts about how wonderful your day was make me smile at first, but then I sigh. I spent my day doing homework and watching TV. A post about that would be positively boring compared to yours. Everything I do is boring compared to you. I am happy, I suppose, but I'm not interesting. And so the doubts about myself begin again. I'm not a good writer, I'm not a good photographer, I'll never get any more followers. I don't have that many friends or do that many fun things or take that many pictures. It's a spiral, and when taken too far, jealousy can lead to hatred. I definitely don't hate anyone -- I don't believe in wasting energy that way. But this is a feeling we've probably all had, and it's not a fun one.

This is something I've realized only as I'm writing this. I used to only want to read happy, pretty photography blogs, so sweet they were saccharine. But now, I find myself searching for the real. For the raw, the truthful, the beautiful. I want to read something I can relate to. If that's about being stressed by school or just loving cats, so be it. Just write the truth, not an embellished version of it. If you're feeling happy, write about that. If you're feeling upset, let it out. I know no one's life is perfect. Write about what's on your mind, not what you think people want to read. It's okay if it's not perfect -- perfect's only a facade, really. Write about your thoughts, really, honestly, and in your own way, and it will be more interesting than any cookie-cutter blog about how much someone loves vintage. Guarantee.

It's hard. I know it's hard. It's so much easier just to take a few pictures of a flower and call it a day. I've done that before and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it every once and a while. It's your blog, after all. But I'd much rather read, or see through pictures, your thoughts and experiences. We probably have a lot in common, and if we'd both stop trying to cover it up with glossy and edited versions of the truth, we could be friends. Whaddaya say?

The internet has created entirely new ways for people to become jealous. With so many bloggers only showing what they think is their very best, the notion that "everyone is better than me" and the subsequent inadequate feeling is further propelled. But it doesn't need to be like that. If people were more honest and open and let go of their insecurities, we'd probably all be happier.

That's my two cents. What do you think?