Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vacuum oops

I accidentally sucked the drawstring from my PJs into the vacuum earlier today and had to take the roller off to get it out. Man there was a lot of hair. Gross, I know.

Don’t forget to clean your vacuum once in a while.

No more food pictures

It seems like everyone and their mother is taking pictures of the food they eat and posting it. I do that. I even spent a year taking pictures of EVERYTHING I ate, down to a French fry I would snag off of someone’s plate. My friends went from being completely embarrassed by it to automatically handing over their plate of food to be photographed. But now it’s time to stop. It’s become so passé.

One of my friends told me, in order to become a better photographer, I needed to shoot more and shoot a lot. I started taking pictures of food I ate as a way to force myself to always have a camera around and to shoot something - anything. I got into photography in order to document my life, not create art. So now it’s time to pick another subject.

A lot of people have 365 projects in which they will do something each day of the year and share it. I’m not about to do that. Once again, that’s passé. I want to share my life in pictures with my friends and family. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet, but I’ll do something.

So here it is, the last picture of food that I’m going to post… at least for a while.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Almost done

I don’t remember the last time I posted here. It’s this art history class I’m taking that’s been taking up all my time. I’m supposed to be writing a 5-6 page paper on the painting above of King Louis XIV by Hyacinthe Rigaud. But I’m not. Uuhhgg.

I’ll be back soon. My final is on May 19 and then it’s free time galore!

Okay, back to fleur de lis, ermine fur, and Maltese crosses.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rice porridge for the sick

Sick in Bed

I walked in the door and saw my poor honey still lying in bed. I’m pretty sure this is the same position he was in when I left the house 6 hours ago. Did he move at all?

He’s been home sick all day. It could be food poisoning or it could be the flu. Either way, his mom said he’s made multiple trips to the bathroom today. I hope it’s not the flu. I can’t afford to catch anything. I have a wedding to shoot in a week!

I was about to crawl into bed with him when he opened his eyes and mumbled, “I’m hungry,” then went right back to sleep. He must be REALLY sick. He never asks me for food when he’s sick. He normally just stumbles into the kitchen and fixes something for himself. I was ecstatic! He never lets me take care of him. I ran in the kitchen to look for something and came up with... nothing.

His mom offered to make some lugao, which is pretty much just boiled rice, but he wanted something with more flavor so we settled on “arroz caldo”. It’s just a different version of rice porridge made with chicken and flavored with garlic, ginger, fish sauce, calamansi, then garnished with fried garlic and scallions.

Making Arroz Caldo

Making Arroz Caldo

Generations of Americans have spooned chicken soup to their sick kids; Asians feed them congee (rice porridge). Different countries have different version of course, but it all starts with a base of boiled rice. Thais have “kao tom” or “jok”, but personally, I prefer Randy’s mom’s arroz caldo.

Arroz Caldo

The rest of the family was pretty happy too. It’s the perfect food this cold and rainy night.

Strawberry Farms - location scouting

I’m shooting a wedding next Friday. Yes, me. I’m just as shocked as you are! Normally, I avoid shooting weddings like the plague, but Colleen asked me and I couldn’t say no.

I’ve pulled together a team of amazing photographers to help me shoot this wedding. Joining me will be Fizzah Raza, Brent Matsuno, and Sam Bowers. Maybe I can even convince John Halligan to take some pictures. Between all of our different styles and the multiple angles of coverage, I’m sure Paige and Alan will get photos they love!

The Critique

We went to scout the wedding location today, Strawberry Farms Golf Course in Irvine. Near the entrance to the pro shop we saw a table with wedding albums and couldn’t resist taking a peak at what other photographers had done with the location. It turned into an impromptu critique session. Out of the half dozen albums, we found two that we really liked and two that we really didn’t.

Moving on we, looked at the ceremony and reception site. We lamented on how places weren’t designed to be photogenic. Things and places that look good in real life don’t necessarily lend itself to being perfect backdrops. No matter, we’re pros, we’ll work something out. It started raining while we walked around, and we considered what we would do if it rained on the wedding day. Backup plans for this kind of stuff is a must!

Fizzy, Sam, and Brent

Anyhow, I couldn't resist a little Charlie's Angles action and thank goodness my friends are hams. I’m excited. I can’t wait for this wedding. Rumor has it, the bride’s mother is planning on getting me plastered. ☺

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shore House Gang No More?

For about five years now a certain group of friends and I have been going to Shore House in Long Beach for dinner after the Photo Department closes. It was the only decent place to eat open after 10:00pm. Don’t even go there with Denny’s.

We haven’t been there in about six months because we’ve all either been too busy with our own lives or just too lazy to meet up. We’ve all had some major changes in our lives since then so we decided to meet up. John now has a driver’s license and a car, Chris is having a baby (we didn’t see that one coming), Matt and Kari have decided to split up, Krista got back together with her boyfriend, and I’m getting ready to get rid of my house in Vegas. I guess we aren’t the same people we were six months ago.

Shore House

When we all arrived at Shore House the place was dark. WTF? We peaked in through the windows. Our usual table was gone, replaced by a row of booths. Were they closed for remodeling? We decided to see if there was a note on the door explaining why it closed. Health code violations. Damn.

inspection report

What happened to us? Not only have we changed, the place we’ve called our own for years is now gone. When it does reopen it’s not going to be “our” Shore House anymore. We headed over to Harbor house and talked about the changes in our lives and where we are now. We talked about ridiculous things and some sentimental ones. This was us. Even if we weren’t the same person, we were the same group of friends. We still enjoy each other’s company and talk about anything and everything.

I guess this begins a new era in friendship and we’ll have to find a new place to call our own, but I’m looking forward to this. Despite the changes, we are moving forward and that’s a good thing.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Learning New Things


When I first started using foundation I used my fingers to put it on. It took forever, was hard to get even, and it got my hands dirty. Then, I discovered sponges. It went on faster and it was easier to get even coverage.

makeup sponges

This morning I tried using a brush for the first time. I could see the brush strokes. I thought, “This isn’t good,” so I kept trying to blend it figuring I could always use the sponge to even it out later. When the foundation started to dry a little, I found I couldn’t really use a brushing motion anymore because it would just tug and streak more. I started using a patting motion. The lines went away immediately. I ended up with this flawless, glowing skin in less than a few minutes. My makeup has never looked this great. I’m in love! I may never use a sponge again!

makeup brushes

It’s occurred to me that certain types of foundation and ways of applying it may work really well on me, but it might not work so well with other people. People have different skin types, textures, and degrees of uneven skin tone. One may need more coverage than another. I also tend to use a lot of pressure when applying makeup, I know what I can take. I may have to be gentler with someone else and that would change the technique.

I’m overwhelmed by this makeup thing and I’m grateful for this feeling. Sometimes I forget what it feels like to have to learn something new. It’s one thing trying to remember the anxiety I felt 10 years ago doing something new verses feeling the anxiety today. It helps me empathize with the students I work with more. I have more patience. I’m better with them because I know how they feel.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Mondays are Great

Some people hate Mondays. It means the weekend is over and you have to go back to work. As for me, I like Mondays. Mondays feel like a fresh start and I get to go to work and see my friends.

Today was an especially good Monday. John came in shortly after I arrived at work with a big green bag (my favorite color). It was an early birthday gift. He’s been telling me about it for a few weeks now. The only hint I got was that it was something I’ve wanted for a long time, but have forgotten that I wanted it. What the hell was that?

John Bearing Gift

I pulled out two boxes carefully wrapped in teal colored tissue. They were the kind of boxes you put clothing into. I knew what it was before I opened it. He’s been telling me he was going to get this thing for me for my birthday for nearly as long as I’ve known him. I opened the box. A blue lab coat with lots of pockets. It was exactly what I wanted! He even got me a second one as a spare.

Lab Coats

I’ve ruined cute outfit after cute outfit for years because of chemical spills on my clothes, so I resorted to wearing nothing but jeans and a plain black t-shit for the last four weeks. He said this was part of his plan to let me wear nice clothes to work again. I’m thrilled!

Grace's New Lab Coat

Around 3pm I started getting hungry. I went down for our usual 4pm drink run and was startled half to death by my friend Colleen who snuck up on me. She told me had Anita made some chocolate chip banana bread. Anita is a fantastic cook and I can’t resist anything she makes. Oh God, it was good. It was sweet and moist and had the perfect balance of banana and chocolate. This was the perfect thing to tide me over until John went out to pick up dinner.

Could this day get any better? Apparently, yes!

Just as John was about to leave Sam showed up with a container full of home made chicken. Delicious!

Sam's Chicken

To top off my day Laura, the Verg, and Randy stopped by to visit me for a while.

Mondays are great.

Sunday, February 06, 2011



After class Krista and I went to the mall. She shopped for boots while I played with my cell phone. Then she shopped for more boots while I played with my cell phone some more.

Krista 'n boots

I gotta say, I haven't minded sitting around waiting ever since I got my iPhone. Getting my oil changed? No problem. DMV? No problem. I have Twitter, Facebook, and a multitude of camera apps at my disposal.


Anyhow, we ended up at a Forever 21. As we looked around for accessories it hit me, I'm too old to shop in this store. When did that happen? It used to be one of my favorite stores. Apparently you can't be 21 forever. At some point you do get too old and too fat for certain fashions. I just didn't think it would happen this soon. I did find one top that I liked. A crocheted top with colored stripes. It was so "me", but before I knew it, I felt Krista dragging me away.

rainbow top

"Friends don't let friends buy rainbows. Especially crocheted rainbows." was all she said.


Makeup Class: Day 3

I woke up this morning wishing I could go back to sleep. I wanted this class to be over so I could have my Sundays back already. I miss sleepeing in. Unfortunately, skipping class was not an option.

Today we finished our lecture on corrective makeup and contouring, then we got to put makeup on each other. Krista went first and, man, her hands were cold. Very cold. I haven’t had someone put makeup on me since my senior prom and to be honest, it felt a little weird. I had gotten used to my makeup being applied and looking a certain way and it was hard adjusting to seeing it different than how I put it on. It made me feel uncomfortable even though I could tell, objectively, it looked pretty good.

Soon it was my turn to put makeup on Krista. It was hard adjusting to using her makeup, her brushes, and putting things on her face instead of mine. I was nervous and in a constant state of paranoia that I was patting on the foundation too roughly. I was so afraid I was going to poke her in the eye, I glued on the lashes way too far from her lash line. It wasn’t pretty, literally.

I need more practice and thankfully my family and friends are willing to let me practice on them. I’m going to practice on everyone who’s willing to let me. Does anyone else want to volunteer? Please. 

Friday, February 04, 2011

Foundation (the makeup kind)

I’ve spent the last week researching makeup foundation. At this point, I’d consider myself obsessed. I want to know what types of foundation there are, the pros and cons of using each type, as well as the best ways to apply each one.

If you’re makeup illiterate like me foundation is used to smooth out your face and cover up spots or uneven skin tone.

From what I’ve gathered these are the main types of foundation.

1. tinted moisturizers
2. mousses/whipped foundation
3. liquid foundation
4. cream foundation
5. liquid/cream to powder foundation
6. mineral powders

I haven’t figured out what the pros and cons of each are yet. I’ve only used cream and liquid foundations myself. I prefer to use the liquid stuff because it’s easier to apply and feels lighter on my skin than cream, but it doesn’t cover as well as the cream.

It took me years to find the right color for my skin tone. I would go to the store and buy something I thought was the right color, but when I tried it home, it just wasn’t quite right. I gave up after a few tries because I was sick and tired of spending money on something I couldn’t use. Sure, I could have gone to the makeup counter at any department store, but I was just too afraid. I didn’t know what a good brand was and I didn’t want to spend money on something I was afraid wasn’t going to work for me again.

Then, one day, I walked by the makeup aisle and L’Oreal had a line of makeup called True Match. Next to the foundations was this clear plastic card with different colors printed on it. You were supposed to hold it up to your skin and the one that disappeared was the right color for you. Okay, I’ll bite. I’ll give this a shot. Lo and behold, it worked! I could have sworn I heard angels singing. N4, that’s my color.

When I went to buy the Ben Nye makeup for class Beverly Crain of Charisma Costume pulled out pallets and pallets of color. She picked out a few she thought were the right color for me and had me try them. We found my perfect match. I was ecstatic! The stuff covers brilliantly, but I couldn’t wear it every day. It just feels too heavy on my skin. I was far too aware I was wearing makeup.

I also didn’t know how to apply the foundation for a while. I used to use my fingers, but then I saw someone use those little triangle wedge sponges so I decided to try it. I love it. The makeup went on so much quicker and smoother. I recently learned some people use a brush to apply foundation, so I guess I’ll try that tomorrow and see how I like it. I don’t really know what brush works best, but I know you aren’t supposed to use those big fluffy ones. Luckily, one of the brushes in the set I bought actually says “foundation” on it. I guess I’ll start with that one.

My goal is to try all the different types of foundation, try different application methods with each and see which one I like better. I’ll keep you guys posted.