Archive for 2012

election

This election marked my first time voting! Exciting stuff, guys. :D

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apple crumble

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I've never really figured out which season I like the best, but autumn is definitely up there. The trees are aflame with color and there's something so wonderfully refreshing about crisp air hitting the bottom of your lungs. And then there are the memories of marching band that are inextricably linked to the fall: practices in the middle of my high school football field wreathed in fiery trees, frozen fingers struggling to move over cold keys, brisk morning practices bundled up in fleeces and Underarmour, bus rides in the dying light spent gossiping and singing and laughing with my best friends. It's so strange that it was such an important part of my life at one point and now it's autumn once again and here I am again, so far removed from dot books and my clarinet. But thus is life, I guess.

I ushered in the first day of fall with an apple crumble that always reminds me of my mother. She has an aversion to sweets and baking so it was a welcome surprise to come home from school to this in the oven one day when I was younger. As one of the few things she's ever baked, it's impossible to disassociate it from her.

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compson sound

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I'm alive, I swear. It's been a busy couple of weeks, but I'm home on fall break right now with free time to sort through and edit pictures for the first time in ages.

Compson Sound (AKA Ben Li) is an incredibly talented mashup artist/DJ at my school that I've been working with for the past month. I shot for him when he opened for 3lau earlier last month and again a couple weeks later when we did a shoot. These pictures were a bit of a challenge for me, mostly because I never realized how unaccustomed I am to shooting men and also because my usual softer, filmy aesthetic doesn't fit his sound. But we both worked together to get past the inexperience on both sides and I think it worked out.

Or maybe it's just that Ben figured out smizing by the end. Or the flannel. Yeah, definitely the flannel. ;)

Check him out: FacebookSoundcloudWebsiteAlbum

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blood donation

After years of being too scared of needles to donate blood, I finally just sucked it up and did it when Red Cross was holding a blood drive at my school. My friend Suzanne was an absolute saint and came with me to take these pictures and provide moral/physical support if I needed it. I was a nervous wreck when they were putting in the needle, all chattery and distracted, but otherwise it was relatively painless experience, mitigated by the friendly staff that talked to me about Tarantino movies and ice cream afterwards.

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candice

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Meet Candice. 

She's the ginger beauty that I met during RA training and have become good friends with since. Violinist, part-time vegan, fellow classical music geek, pretend dinosaur, wannabe hipster, and, fortunately for me, closet camera whore. I (and the rest of campus frankly) am obsessed with her hair and had to do a shoot with her (even if she doesn't have a soul).

Photos under the cut. 

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ra training

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Not long after I got home from Taiwan, I found myself cramming my belongings into suitcases once again. It's become familiar and strangely comforting experience. Back on the road I went, back to Hamilton for Resident Adviser (RA) training. Most of it was reminiscent of a surreal Biology 101 purgatory because of the endless hours spent in the Science Center auditorium for sessions that covered everything we needed to know about being an RA, but I loved training nevertheless. The people that I met during that time have become some of my best friends on campus  funny to think that we had never talked before that week. I miss having campus to ourselves with no homework to worry about, when we would visit each others rooms and stay up to all hours of the night just talking and watching movies.

Some images from dinner at a Dean's house, a masquerade dinner (check off the bucket list!), and watching the sunset from the suites.


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Oh, and another bucket list accomplishment: a flashmob during New Student Orientation to Call Me Maybe. Needless to say, the freshmen were not wholly impressed with us, but we had a blast. I'm the one in the green tie-dye on the left side that shows up around 00:28

nineteen

Nineteen.

It still feels strange in my mouth when I say it, even though many of my friends have been nineteen for a while now. I don't know why, but there seems to be less romance associated with nineteen than the rest of my teenage years. Nineteen feels more real in a way than the rest, like I finally have to start to get my act together because I'm not a child anymore and I can't keep pretending I am. The possibilities that were so abundant before are transforming quickly into a handful of actual choices that I will have to address soon. 

I fear the relentless march of time and the inevitable age that comes with it. Perhaps it's because of my grandmother, but I can't stand the thought of becoming old and irrelevant to the world, just someone that everyone just puts up with and plays along with and coddles. Yes, I know that with age comes experience and everything, but I love being young and filled with possibility and potential, having people underestimate my talents and then blowing them out of the water. There's such a novelty to young talented things, that I feel like at nineteen I can't pull the precocious photographer shtick I did at fifteen anymore. 

Regardless of it all though, I'm still young and I intend on soaking in every second and enjoying it in the company of those I love, however ephemeral these days are. In the end, it matters little how old or young I am and I feel silly for fixating so much about it some days. The way I spend the days I have on this earth matter so much more than the number of days, minutes, seconds I've been here. 


It started the second that the clock struck midnight on my birthday. I was Skyping with a friend when suddenly Carrie, Deb, Amal, and Emily are in my room singing Happy Birthday. Gifts, cards, cookies, hugs.

The following evening, I went out to dinner with my birthday twin, Danielle, who I met last year doing Project SHINE. She's one of the sweetest people I've had the pleasure of meeting at college. We spent a lot of last semester with Matt having weekly Diner dates after our SHINE sessions and sending letters to each other. Dinner was at a local hibachi place with Dani's roommate Beth + her roommate from last year Meredith + Matt and his roommate Adam. Roomie party, basically.

Dani's gorgeous dorm room that Beth decorated.
Matt and Dani
Birthday girls.

Mer and Matt 



Dinner was going great, until Adam mentioned to the servers that it was our birthdays. Within ten minutes, a disco ball came on, the sound of drums filled the restaurant, and the servers came out singing. A shot of sake was poured on a ball of fried ice cream and set on fire in front of me. Danielle and I looked at each other in delight at all of it and we blew out our mock candles.


Then the masks came out.


And then the masks went on our heads.


And then we had to shake our booties. Part traumatizing, part hilarious.


Adam

When I went back to my dorm, there was a crowd of people waiting. My amazing friend and fellow baker Emily had made me a cake in the shape of a camera (is anyone really surprised?) and invited over my friends to celebrate. It was a wonderful moment in time, just looking around seeing that room filled with people that loved me. The rest of the night was spent with my friends, talking and eating cake in the common room, then finally deciding to start work at midnight. Pretty brutal sleepless night of work immediately following, but oh so worth it.



lemon strawberry génoise


What's a génoise, you may be asking? It's an Italian sponge cake, but made without leavenings like baking powder or soda, rather using the air incorporated in the batter to make it rise. Whole eggs are whipped up with sugar instead of yolks and whites separately.

To be quite honest, I hadn't even heard of it until the day before Timothy's birthday. I just wikipedia'd that shit. I volunteered to bake my brother's birthday cake and my mother requested a simple sponge cake. Except, after a couple hours of recipe searching, I somehow got it in my head that a génoise was the only way to go and then, my mind jumped to lemons, which go so wonderfully with blueberries, both of which my brother loves. Done deal. I had to do it.


I obviously deluded myself into thinking that I was Jacques Torres or some shit like that and could handle something this ambitious. Except I'm just a college girl with lofty dreams of perfect pastries. Never mind that I've never actually made a cake before. And that blueberries were nowhere to be found in the local supermarket. I figured I might as well though, considering that I was heading off to college the next day, away from easy access to my equipment and the supermarket.

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beautiful strangers


My days in Taipei this summer were spent wandering familiar city streets and riding the metro aimlessly for hours. My favorite days were those I set off with no plan, just a metro card, a bit of money, and my camera. I would hop on the the metro (捷運 to the locals), ride to random stops, and explore the surrounding areas. Okay, not every day was a successhow can it be when I have no idea where I'm going? But there were definitely worthwhile discoveries along the way.

One thing that was continuously fascinating through everything were the people I encountered. Growing up in the suburbs and going to school in such a rural area, I'm used to the idea that people are not meant to remain strangers. I may not get to know everyone well, but in the end, I know that the faces the pass by every day will become familiar to me, even if we never speak. It's strangely refreshing to live in the city and know that I'll never see these people again, that they'll never see me again. Yet, there's the knowledge that each of these strangers live entire lives that I'll never know and that fascinates me to no end.

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lemon curd


Commence my adventures as a part time food blogger. Not wholly unexpected for those of you that know me. I started baking obsessively when I started college, using my wonderful floormates as guinea pigs for my rapid descent into the world of butter and sugar. After countless cookies, bar experiments, and cupcakes later, I figured it's about time to start organizing my recipes, and what better way than with this blog? Okay, I'm no Pioneer Woman or SmittenKitchen. Goodness knows how those women do it. My kitchen has awful lighting, I can't figure out how to take pictures as I'm baking, and college life limits my ingredients and equipment.


Lemon curd is basically a custard with a really rich lemon flavor made with egg yolks, sugar, butter, and lemons. It's creamy, smooth, and so versatile; put it in your yogurt, on toast, in a crepe, in a tart, in whipped cream, as a lemon buttercream base, or as a cake filling, like I did. Or hell, just eat it with a spoon.

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