Tuesday, December 29, 2009

i could go work in thailand

or istanbul

or cambodia

or peru

or switzerland for a while

today's pick is cuzco, peru. yesterday's was thailand, and the day before that, cambodia. there are still a couple of months before i have to grow up and make a decision. the first ticket i buy will be a round trip to somewhere, leaving this june and returning in mid-december. and then i'll leave again in january. maybe for a year. i don't know yet. i could go to veitnam or laos or prague or india or korea or china or bulgaria or anywhere. wherever i don't go this time i can go later.

rinse and repeat until exhaustion. i will go to nepal, though not to work. i will go back to switzerland.

i explained to space suit that i feel like i'm killing time this year. "you're not killing time," she said, "this is where you stockpile. like a squirrel with nuts in the winter."

Monday, December 28, 2009

everything is better with a fisheye. even ice skating. i'm starting to be convinced about this "winter" business.

(there are a couple more on flickr.)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

my grandmother does not like this one:

and she didnt know what this one is:

i found a fisheye attachment for $40 on craigslist, embarrassed myself supremely in front of an Actual Photographer when i randez-vous'd with him at the impossible-to-fucking-find-ihop in the part-of-town-i-dont-know, and have been engrossed with it for a good portion of the day, taking pictures mostly of my kid sister, and pictures mostly that she does not like. more eye. less forehead.

Friday, December 25, 2009

it is good to be home for christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

photography as a serious ahrt and issues of equine dentistry

merry christmas! (tomorrow!) it's good to be home.




more horse photos likely coming soon.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

two for two indulgence

today's daydream: i travel around the world and write essays that are somehow irreverant and hilarious while simultaneously being insightful and deeply moving. i sell collections of the essays for a small portion of my income and herd cattle/work a seasonal fruit stand/swab down gym equipment/or something for the rest. i pretty much want to turn into the lovechild of mary roach (stiff, and spook) and gretel ehrlich (the solace of open spaces, and islands, the universe, home) (sans ye olde being-struck-by-lightning part).

i know this is kind of stupid, but i'm wondering who reads this thing. there is the followers whatsit, yes, but also google reader, which doesnt show up on the page hit counter. if it's not too indulgent, a head count would be kind of cool. say hi.

Monday, December 21, 2009

every time i see a high-quality classical music performance i am increasingly relieved that i'm not going into it. my father got tickets to yuja wang and the shanghai symphony last month and i'll be damned if it wasn't a very accurate performance. she wore a pretty sweet dress. sometimes i get to go for hikes.

you know that joke that goes:

go, go and practice until your fingers bleed?

yeah, well, my teacher actually does that shit, and the moment her fingertips split open, she gets really excited. "it means hi hem practicing enough," she says.

on a conservative day i'll put in four hours; what does it take to break open your fingertips? i have no idea. people who do that have, in my book, officially crossed the line into nutso. its been three days of no practice and my tendons are still hurting off and on, as they do. how does the skin of your fingertips give out before your tendons?

maybe she doesn't have tendons.

she used to put superglue on her fingertips to stop the bleeding.

"superglue hiznt good enough, hi have to use za chrazy glue." she laughs.

it's not funny.

maybe she's some crazy bulgarian octopus robot who has to use crazy glue to maintain a human shape. maybe she moved to california because she had some west-coast octopus relatives on her father's side that she wanted to get to know. maybe at night she drives to the ocean and takes her true form (leaving large, human-shaped shells of crazy glue on the shore) and they all tour old shipwrecks together. (maybe the glue-shells fill with moonlight and are buffeted around by the sea-breeze so the hippies who sleep at the beach think they're ghosts. maybe some of the hippies have gotten wise and now use the glue-shells for shelter. or boats. maybe they hang small shell and hemp and bottle-cap amulets around the inside of the glue-shells so that when they leave, the shells are large clattering moon-filled idiophone ghost-hollows that go whoom clatter clatter whoom clatter clatter as the night wind bounces them down the length of the beach. maybe.)

her sister played the bach concerto i'm currently working on when she was seven. my teacher didnt say when she herself played it, but in one section "when hi was a little ghirl," she said, "and didnt have such good control, hi used dis fingering. now hi can do dis, but you see."

uh huh, lady, i'm getting wise to you. i've heard the shore-hippies whispering.

meanwhile, i'm turning into one of those crafty 65-year-old ladies who gifts shitty hand-made earrings for her female relatives. i can't wait to see my kid sister's face when she opens the box: you mean, i'm supposed to hang this crap off the side of my head? are you serious? is this a gift or an insult? her friends'll be asking her what's the name of that clever little five-year-old in her life. it's fuckin' cute.

Friday, December 18, 2009

you do not know this man, this hall, this piano, or the man who tunes this piano.


i think i have a more sympathetic relationship with food than i do with people. this will eventually need to be remedied.

last night i saw preservation hall and danced onstage. it was one of --if not the-- best live shows i've ever seen. this morning i tried to teach one of my disheartened students st james infirmary. she seemed less disheartened? how do you tell a twelve year old to sing it sad and nasty?

let her go, let her go, god bless her

wherever she may be

she can search the whole world over

but she'll never find a man like me

Monday, December 7, 2009

okay, two more food photos because i'm feeling whorish today.

the time is defined by the event, rather than the other way around. the defining portion of the events have often been food. last night was wine and chocolate covered strawberries, now is orange chicken and underdone rice. later is salad with raspberries and walnuts and maybe some leftover gluten free bread if i play my cards right.


i feel like shit like this shouldnt make me as giggly inside as it does. also, blogger crops things funny.

fuck you, lisa frank.

Friday, November 27, 2009

go go thanksgiving and lets skip directly to one of my favorite of the family archival photographs:

(it is worth clicking on the link to see it larger)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

i turned 22 today. my father took me to r.e.i. to buy a backpack. a travel-around-the-world-for-two-years backpack.

what am i doing, man.

making persimmon pies from the tree out front and taking a lot of pictures; i know i'm doing that much. and i'm happy; i know that too.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

last winter.

my sister stuffs a giant, red-eyed fake rubber rat into our neighbor's mailbox. this thing probably approximates the size of a small bobcat, and when our neighbor lady goes out to check her mail, the rat pops out like soda after you've shaken the can.

okay, maybe not that violently, but it definitely had a certain amount of forward motion.

the neighbor lady freaked out, called my dad, and trashed mister red-eyes. she and my sister are still not on speaking terms, even after the latter was forced to apologize. (which she did only under duress.)

"i'm not saying it wasn't funny," my dad explained to her, "i'm just saying that you need to apologize."

my goal in life is to grow up and be the kind of person my dad is.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

today i gave a presentation for one of my classes on the subject of language diversity in california. it was one of those classic experiences where, the night before i was to present, i found myself much more interested in delving into auxiliary research than actually putting together the presentation. the end slide show was probably one of the world's ugliest and least font-contiguous powerpoints ever. i gave it a mock run through which clocked in at 23 minutes. i would only have 10-12.

this was when i decided to pull what i realized in retrospect was a classically emily-maneuver. instead of focusing on one idea, or reducing myself to skimming the surface even more painfully than i was already doing, i consciously decided to simply speak as quickly as i could in order to get through the material. douchey and ineffective, yes, but still.

let me back up.

there is this guy in the class. this guy is in about one third of all of the classes anybody ever took in college. he's about 7'4'', walks/smells like an ogre, speaks like a lumber mill, and ports his aesthetic in a way that makes one suspect his mind hasn't totally finished the fantasy-novel or clicked out of the rpg window. no, you did not just +2 charisma, asshole, but you did just +400 douche. he's the kind of guy that makes people with glasses take off their glasses so they dont have to look at him, and people without glasses to rub their foreheads as if it might make him stop talking or disappear entirely. he's the kind of guy that makes you afraid to say anything aloud in any class ever. because then he might respond. and nobody wants that.

so i'm coffee'd-up waving my hands flying through an inappropriate amount of information about a thousand miles an hour like some red-eyed tweaked-out lab rat towards the peanut butter at the end of a maze and the mill ogre doesnt even raise his hand in polite interruption, he just starts talking. "i just wanted to say--"

"what." i dont phrase it as a question. i phrase it as a dont you fucking dare.

and then he starts talking. he starts talking about australian english, which has nothing to do with chinese immigration routes. i am immediately made aware of the difference between our respective rates of speech. this shit is cutting into my presentation time; this is why we take questions afterwards. it's like that terrible moment in a crowded foot race where somebody nearby to you falls and grabs at your ankle. in slow motion. i'm watching the clock. it takes him 45 terrifyingly slow seconds to grab at my ankle.

when he's done i just keep running. nobody else responds to his interjection. people are learning.

head down. focus. carry on.

Monday, November 2, 2009

i have never been this continuously happy ever, a bone-deep "i got this" feeling, for quite a while now, i am happy, i am so happy and i am happy to be growing up and happy with who i am, the things i'm doing, the places i'm going, everything everything my heart is wonderfully full and quiet.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

i've dived into an unnecessary and senselessly huge project -- trying to determine if the verb "do" can be considered a class indicator in shakespeare's comedies. probably not, but the project is wonderfully consuming: "do" has a tremendously interesting and often overlooked role in the history of english. one particular historian (john mcwhorter, whose emphasis is in pidgin and creole languages) contends that the only other languages in the world that have such a verb are welsh and cornish. routine usage doesn't rear its ugly head until early modern. you can fill in the rest.

trying to explain this to my roommates/girlfriend:

"as in, i want to do your mom? past tense: i did your mom."
"i will have done your mom."
"or! your mom is as wet as the morning dew."
"ooh -- your mom has more numbers than the dewey decimal system."


Saturday, October 31, 2009

another hungover saturday morning, instant coffee, students. i'm getting good at this. i do not have a problem. i do not have a problem.

last night was: recital. red stockings black pumps my legs are dynamite and thank-god-it's-over, now-i-can-stop-shaking. this was followed by competitive four-hand sight-reading as a drinking game. if you and your partner didnt make it to the end, she'd be ready, vodka in two tall glasses, one for each pair of hands:

"it zounds like zhots!" and then throw her head back with manic laughter.

the pieces included, notably, mozart symphonies, "a liszt christmas," and the batman theme ("batmun teem." "bach motif?" "no! batmun teem.").

classical piano is a long and hellish party where they make you play until you can't walk in a straight line, where you argue loudly about the dead, give and receive roses, chocolates, grievances, gossips, and stories about a childhood under the communist regime.

i dont know how many of my students are going to stick to the game of it, but man, they're in for a ride if they do. i have one student in particular who i think might survive -- girlie, you just wait.

Monday, October 26, 2009

every time i turn pages for somebody in a concert, i have an odd sort of revelation. it probably doesn’t help that it is a uniquely stressful situation – though never too bad, for one is always “the page turner”, never “emily” – the lights from the catwalk from my perspective back-light the performers, and make the black keys tilt like staggering drunks, so it seems like i’m turning pages on the set of some horrible film-noir. (what will happen when the piano stops, when i grab two pages instead of one, or forget the repeat?) when the clarinet player arduously drips the chain and cloth down the clarinet and wipes it clean every time, drips the chain and cloth, fusses with his mouthpiece every time, it takes too long between pieces and even though there is nothing going on this room full of community, full of strangers, we all are observing that odd tradition of breathless silence, the chain and cloth hissing through the clarinet, he smiles back-lit sheepishly. it is the sort of tensely bored forty-five seconds onstage between pieces where the only thing to think about is the precise angle of curl of one’s fingers, hidden in one’s own lap, and the potential offensives therein.

last night i saw the pianist depress the keys and the hammers rise, which is in itself not such a novel observation, but it was is a slight jiggle to the hammers after striking the strings, and i realized suddenly that the mechanism of the piano is in fact separate from the mechanism of the hands. this should be obvious. maybe just for me, having spent the last five years meditating on the supposed direct line between fingertip and sound, that rebellious post-strike hammer undulation appeared as the most seductive, mesmerizing mechanical give in the world, like the swinging ponytail of a runner passing you in the early morning, or the way somebody’s arm twitches against you as they fall asleep.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

this is how i tell it is time to drop the class.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

i got the music and the go-ahead for this today. god is good.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

while it may be technically impossible, it is theoretically entirely possible to have an infinitely long sentence that is completely grammatical.


i'm seeing someone who is very high energy and kind, i'm hooking up with all kinds of exciting tesol/tefl people and resources, i'm daydreaming about veitnam and nepal and chile and india and peru, i'm glad and excited to be living my life.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

“most of the important changes in american speech are not happening at the level of grammar or language—which used to be the case—but at the level of sound itself.” - william labov

what if all british nannies were actually old david attenboroughs who whisper-narrated at their charges in the third person, instead of speaking to them like the good ol' homegrown american nannies we all know?

this nursery may seem calm, but there is life here. here we can see a three month old child in its natural habitat. though other mammals by this stage have already learned to hunt and fend for themselves in the wild, this one still has motor skills that are primitive at best, and remains totally dependent on its caretaker. watch now as the caretaker moves in to change its diaper.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

long bike ride saturday.


i suspect that part of the reason i am reluctant to make the recording for graduate school applications is that i am also reluctant to grow up and acknowledge my impending adulthood.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

i think i will always associate the smell of instant coffee with saturday mornings. and hangovers. except -- this time -- i'm not hungover. just stayed up all night reading the riddlemaster trilogy. go team. i'm glad my students dont know anything about me. respect levels would probably plummet.

on thursday, my cousin got hit by cars and on friday, passed away; we're not totally sure how he managed to be hit by multiple cars, but at this point it doesn't really matter. family is family. i'll be driving down tomorrow. it'll be good to be home.

and i'm gonna get my hurr cut off.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

this week on "things i do not want to eat"


Monday, September 21, 2009

indian summer


Saturday, September 19, 2009

this morning, i was the piano teacher with a champagne hangover. i made one of my students, a seven year old girl, cry over half notes. i spoke with her father about this afterwards, and he smiled. "dont worry about it; she's had a long week," he said. "yesterday, she burst into tears when she found out that the butter we were using wasn't organic."

i dont feel bad about that anymore.

hangover cure at the fair: ten dollars for a palm-reading and five dollars for a soydog with extra sauerkraut. this is the best of humboldt for fifteen bucks.

the woman who read my palm hadn't shaved her arms in a couple of days and told me i'd have three children, two girls, one boy, one marriage, a smart upcoming career change, a lot of writing and school in my future, that i would move to the midwest and then back with my family "in the south" and in three or four years time, meet my soul mate, whom i would know immediately upon seeing, and that my life would be healthy and extend into my 90's. i spent a lot of the time not staring at her beard.

some years ago, "in the south," i had my cards read. the woman, russian this time, also imparted the tri-child prophecy. i dont recall her having a beard.

this doesnt mean i'm giving either of them credit.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

today, one of my students expressed surprise that i have a teacher.

"and my teacher has a teacher. well, many teachers, actually. everybody has a teacher." i let that sink in. "except the untaught, of course," i added.

man do i have a teacher. she was so excited to move to california that she announced in one of the group keyboard classes that she "bought two svimsoots."

but humboldt is as humboldt does; she asked one of her students "vy she did not practice, and she said she lives on the beach."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

i have wonderful roommates :D


Sunday, September 6, 2009

your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger

When we listen primarily for what we "ought" to be doing with our lives, we may find ourselves hounded by external expectations that can distort our identity and integrity. There is much that I ought to be doing by some abstract moral calculus. But is it my vocation? Am I gifted and called to do it? Is this particular ought a place of intersection between my inner self and the outer world, or is it someone else's image of how my life should look?

When I follow only the oughts, I may find myself doing work that is ethically laudable but not mine to do. A vocation that is not mine, no matter how externally valued, does violence to the self—in the precise sense that it violates my identity and integrity on behalf of some abstract norm. When I violate myself, I invariably end up violating the people I work with. How many teachers inflict their own pain on heir students, the pain that comes from doing what never was, or no longer is, their true work?

In contrast to the strained and even violent concept of vocation as an ought, Frederick Buechner offers a more generous and humane image of vocation as "the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."

In a culture that sometimes equates work with suffering, it is revolutionary to suggest that the best inward sign of vocation is deep gladness—revolutionary but true. If a work is mine to do, it will make me glad over the long haul, despite the difficult days, Even the difficult days will ultimately gladden me, because they pose the kinds of problems that can help me grow in a work if it is truly mine.

If a work does not gladden me in these ways, I need to consider laying it down. When I devote myself to something that does not flow from my identity, that is not integral to my nature, I am most likely deepening the world's hunger rather than helping to alleviate it.


from: The Heart of a Teacher

Identity and Integrity in Teaching

by parker j palmer

thanks to katie for passing this along to me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

i ran 95 miles during the month of august! i'm fucking proud of myself! the knees are feeling it, though. for september: less running. more swimming. by the end of the semester i'm gonna look like this:

or not.

i want to be a sociolinguistic historian alpinist photographer world-traveler chef commedian triathalete warrior woman fluent in old english and the prepared piano music of john cage.

"does switzerland sing the song of your heart?" he asked.

"no," i told him. i think that was a lie?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

this morning i woke up and began to practice in my head. sometimes i'll sit down with a piece of music and work on it away from a piano, but the early-morning, still-in-bed spontaneous musical laboring hasn't happened to me in a long time, and, let me tell you, it doesn't bode well for my social life.

one of the wonderful and creepy things about language is that one person can use it to put an image into another person's head, like food into a pantry, or books on a shelf.

picture a bulldog.
standing on it's hind legs.
in a long purple skirt.
with a bulgarian accent.
and a confident scowl.

you have just imagined my new piano teacher. her fingers are like hotdogs, the palms of her hands like small rotisserie chickens. she walks belly-out business-first and calls me "emily-sveetie." my first lesson, last wedesday, lasted two hours. i didnt cry, i'll have you know, but that doesnt mean i didnt want to.

which means it was perfect.

a restricted code will arise where the form of the social relation is based upon closely shared identifications, upon an extensive range of shared expectations, upon a range of common assumptions ... such codes will emerge as both controls and transmitters of the culture ... meaning does not have to be fully explicit, a slight shift of pitch or stress, a small gesture, can carry a complex meaning.

-basil berstien

Thursday, August 27, 2009

question of the week: how do you, in real life, pronounce the word sandwich?

personally, i say sanwidge.

i momentarily parted from a promenade down the hallway to pop my head into the office of a vocal faculty member.

"elizabeth," i inquired, "how do you say sandwich?"
"sand witch," she replied, all of the consonants and vowels clear and resonant enough to be painted into a still portrait with fruit. "and sometimes sammich."
"sammich. is that done intentionally to be cute?"
"yes. but if i'm actually saying it, i will say it sandwitch." she's a professor of singing (think about that one, to profess singing), which means that she gets paid to be a stickler about clippy pronunciation.
"i say sanwidge," i informed her.
"get out of my office."

what do you say?

and on an unrelated note: cheerios.

Monday, August 24, 2009

first day of classes. swimming. tried to crash a poli sci course that meets once a week for three hours in the evening, lead gallantly by your mail-order crazy-for-the-sake-of-crazy teacher who spent the whole three hours throwing a temper tantrum about america. okay, i thought, i've done this before. i can get through this course, and graduate. he wont be opening up seats until next week, though, and i'm not waiting around that long to figure out if i can get out of here this semester.

so i walked up to him after class was over and asked, "will seating priority be given to graduating seniors?"

he smiled wide in my face and laughed. "absolutely not! no way!"

fucking jackass. can we have at least a smidgeon of facilitation, here, faculty? a little grace? was the wild laugher totally necessary? this is a 100 level general ed class.

i'm going back to work in switzerland next summer and summer absolutely cannot come soon enough.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

i had to get up early yesterday morning and leave the apartment without time enough to make coffee. i looked sharp, though -- the professional piano-teacher lady, mixing and shooting instant java at the muffin table in between lessons. this morning, before i decided whether or not i was hung over, i found my milk in the freezer. i was hung over. 

"i thought you had some crazy plan for the frozen milk," my roommate says. 

i cant wait to be the absentminded professor.

school starts tomorrow. year five. this afternoon i sat on a brick wall in shorts and a tee shirt with a friend, both of us slurping ice cream cones, flapping our matching brown converse sneakers like the shadows of birds. converse are the only sneakers for california summer.

i run in the forest that always smells wet because the sun never gets all the way down to the ground. tripping on large roots is more like being airborne than falling. i love opening up my stride on the downhills and the slight give of mud, the feel and push and bend of my legs, the eruption back onto the football field dripping sweat, splattered with mud, and sometimes even little bits of greenery on my shirt, in my hair. i feel like a wild thing.

there is flour on the keyboard of my computer. 

Friday, August 21, 2009

our work here is done

our work here is done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

serial killer county no1

lets get a room at the outpost motel

this weekend i found it is hard to drive long distances when i have to pull over to take pictures every 30 miles or so. i'm trying for quality over quantity, here, so maybe more to follow if i decide they're good enough :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"this is why you're still single," my cousin would tell me.

"Harry," she said, "what if we can't find out who is doing it in time?"

"We'll find them," I said.

"But what if we don't?"

"Then we fight monsters.

Murphy took a deep breath and nodded as we stepped out into the summer night. "Damn right we do."

from one the novels out of jim butcher's the dresden files. actually, the, er, ninth book in the series. i haven't exactly read all nine, but --

i'm sorry, but i cant get enough of these things. it's like harry potter has gone to bed with the chronicles of narnia, and their child is embarrassed about a crush it has on twilight. not that i've read twilight, either, but you know what i mean:

over the top fantasy action sequences that inevitably dissolve into a sort of flippant deux ex machina, rife with sarcastic internal monologue and cheerily repressed sexuality --

summer needs to last forever.

i'm running twenty miles a week and baking bread and devouring fantasy novels like a fifteen foot troll who has escaped from the nevernever devours parking meters.

too bad there is only one week left, and i have yet to ensnare an opportunity for gainful employment.

Friday, August 14, 2009

mr. pack-a-day

pack a day

backdate foto! when i was living with mr. pack-a-day. worth putting up. click for b i g g e r.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

strawberry yum

strawberry, obviously.

Friday, August 7, 2009

alright, more photos.
but i'm gonna grow a pair and only post one at a time and be like a real photoblogger.

fern canyon wall grayscale

did a daytrip to fern canyon with hailey and we didnt walk very quickly at all.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


long exposures on the street! being passed by large groups of drunked men! this is fun! (you can see this guy turn on his blinker below.)

blinker goes off.

and day one of strawberry cordials.

i wish i could a) post these larger and b) figure out why sometimes the resolution gets chunky-weird.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

this is a surprisingly personal post. about work. i mean, school. but, work, really, personal work. i mean, point being, half the time, i cant tell the difference between my personal life and my piano life anyway, whether i am in school or clocking in hours, or clocking in hours at school, if it is even me doing it, so what's to say here or there, hither or thither/yon, this or that. christ.

my teacher and i had a scheme to get a particular professor out from the no1 dream graduate program! my teacher had studied with this lady a bit as a doctoral student, and the plan was for this woman to come out to california, give a master class, and for me to totally dazzle her with my quick fingers and clever brain and by doing so win my way into dream graduate program acceptance!

however, i found out today that since my teacher died, nobody has been in contact with this lady. she was supposed to be here this fall -- and it was her absence from the events calender that seemed odd. as of now, she is not coming out.

which is really a kick in the balls when it comes to my chances for acceptance to this university, but i'm not about to give up on it. i took this last extra year to be sure that i could put my best effort out there. which i am going to do.

step one: write the new head of department here, who just moved into town and whom i still havent met.
step two: write the instructor at the dream graduate program! schmooze. chat about ... rep. and stuff.
step three: apply like the universe is coming down, motherfucker.

so i've been hunched over this computer keyboard for far too long this evening, sending emails, drawing up spreadsheets of audition requirements, recording requirements, checking my email, and googling ridiculous phrases like "graduate programs piano performance new york city."

this new instructor/head of the piano department is fresh out of (wait for it) eastman, so fuck, why not just send some paper and a dvd to them, too.

it is not until i realize that this is going to be a total showdown that i understand that, motherfucker, this is what i want to do. it is wonderful to think about teaching hiv prevention in africa, or english in korea, (or living at my parents house) or any number of things, but this game plan, for right now, is me.

and i dont care who died. screwed up, yes, throws one hell of a wrench into the project, yes, but if brick walls are there to show you how much you want something then this is a big fucking brick wall.

i'm going into this claws out, knives drawn, screaming spitting and sweet-talking as fuck.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

i call these my "half-decent getting to know my camera" shots. talk about a relationship-changing-over-time. recently bought a distinctly budget 35mm fixed lens and i'm liking it quite a bit. makes me have to move.

ps. if you're not up for my nekkid back, dont scroll down past the 2nd shot.

my roommate has a green thumb

self portrait

Monday, July 27, 2009

meanwhile, back on the ranch

if you just keep pressing the big button, some real excellent shit is gonna get caught.

Friday, July 24, 2009


in the throes of boredom, i've found myself fashioning earrings of a rather frightfully couture variety:

it is crafty and a bit embarrassing but nothing that a little bit of denial can't do away with.

and then, suddenly, while it is just me and my bad self minding our own business, this happens:

what the fuck is that? you might ask. and i would forgive you for asking it, for indeed it is a fair question. (denial is only going to get me so far on this one.)

this beadst right here is a letter direct from jesus to me, and in case you can't read it, i have provided a rough transcription:

sister emily,

thou shalt leave the house of thy parents immediately,
elst i shalt turn all of your dignity to fungus dung.
go practice piano or something.

p.s. i love you.

alright, jesus, alright. i'm outta here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

grandmother installation no3

i am discovering my catholic grandmother's distinct lack of romanticism/flair for irreverence when it came to family photo-documentary. exhibit a:

we go to have dinner at her place. she has burned the porkchops, tosses the baking dish to clatter despondently on the countertop like some small betrayal.

"well, shit." hands to hips. "i burned the porkchops."

i'm chopping cucumber and take a moment to look at the partially cremated pig chunks. fact. those suckers are burnt.

"not like you were going to eat them anyway, and now i won't either. but you like beer, right? that's a good thing. i'm proud of you." i haven't had a chance to get a word in edgewise; woman is spitfire. culinary mishaps can end in compliments. alright. just let these things flow.

my father walks into the kitchen, heineken sweating in his hand. i think about how i should have taken a picture in front of the original brewery in amsterdam. "i burned the porkchops," she tells him. he bends dramatically at the waist to study them like a scholar over ancient an ancient manuscript. (carbonchops.)

he stands, straightens his glasses, offers a correction. "no, mom, you transformed them. this is amazing. you're amazing."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

two posts in two days? that's almost vulgar.

no good reason except, man, i think family archival photos are the shit.