I Hear “Creamy” Being Used To Describe Paper A Lot…

…and I get it, but it still sounds kind of gross sometimes.

Why am I thinking about creamy paper? Well, I started journaling in earnest the other day, despite what I said in this post from August of last year. Maybe I’m just in a different head space now. I don’t know. I talked a lot about how there was so much minutia that I’d have to lay out on a page – that I’d just end up boring myself over the sheer amount of nothing I’d be committing to what’s basically now written history. But I’m reading that now and thinking about how much we forget with every day.

As human beings, we’re all, at least, acutely aware of the fact that we don’t retain everything. But if you sit back and think about the sheer amount of dust that’s piled away in that head of yours, it’s all a little bit staggering. And I sort of rage against that aspect of, well, being, by making videos – committing certain memories into visual containers, and stringing them together into projects that I want to share with people.

But you can’t save everything. And the amount of video it would take to even try would be exhausting. Hell, just look at vloggers dropping in and out of the Youtube game nowadays.

I think my problem was that I was thinking of a handwritten journal as something for posterity outside of myself first and foremost. And while I do think it’s true that all writers write with even a subconscious want for someone to read their work outside of themselves, I’m thinking more and more recently that I do want to do this for me.

Thoughts on their own just kind of vanish into the ether after they’re had – regardless of the context, emotion, or weight behind their conception. Yeah, I can’t save them all, but I can save some. There’s something comforting – almost meditative about putting them down in this little black (fourteenfuckingdollar) Moleskine I carry around with me.

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I Hear “Creamy” Being Used To Describe Paper A Lot…

Back From A Long Holiday

Who would have thought I’d end up being on here less once the semester started? 🙂

Hope you’re all not terribly mad at me. I’m settled back into the swing of things after getting a new camera, heading off to Key West for the holiday with my family, and enjoying  the sheer amount of free time that gets dumped on you once college lets out for a month. Expect more photos, more blogs, and more video in the weeks to come!

For now, let me just put this right here…

 

Back From A Long Holiday

The Simplest Things

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A big part of getting into photography, I think, is understanding the weight behind a moment. Not just the moments where you’re staring out at something that just demands to be shot, edited, and retained, but the quieter moments where your camera’s sitting on the bedside stand instead of securely around your neck. Where you’re going on your third hour in bed on a lazy evening with your girlfriend, and she’s giggling and getting quietly exasperated at the bottle flip game on your phone she can’t seem to get more than three points on.

You’re not always going to be able to catch that kind of moment of your camera. A photograph’s probably going to be the last thing on your mind in that instant. But if you can sort of grasp the kind of weight behind all time, all space, all memory – from the luckiest moments we burn into an SD card at the push of a button, to the simplest things that we don’t – I think that maybe, just maybe, you’d be good at this.

 

The Simplest Things

The Old School

school

I spent my middle school years wearing white polo shirts tucked into dress pants – prayers three times a day, service at the church every first Friday. It’s a routine I only came to know once my parents suddenly decided to pull me away from Piscataway’s public school system and plop me down in a private Catholic school for a few years. Nowadays, they’re (my folks, that is) as devout as ever, and I’m a tad less so, but there’s a lot of good tied into that old school building. The more I think of it, the more I appreciate exactly how good those years were.

Of course, everyone yearns for their childhood to some extend. Hope you’ll indulge me a little here.

The grade system in the school was a bit odd – it was a K to 8th institution with a grand total of one class per grade. That meant that if you started school there in Kindergarten, it wouldn’t be bizarre to go through your middle school graduation ceremony with a majority of the other toddlers you were bopping around with. Couple that with a small class size (I only had about thirteen kids in my graduating class) and you have a number of groups of kids forced by right of proximity to forge a relationship pretty close to family. There were no cliques, there were no factions – just little people constantly in extended interaction, unknowingly making some of the best friendships they might ever hope for.

I don’t talk to many people from there anymore. I don’t think my case is too different from the others.

But ask me if I have any stories left over from that time, and you’d keep me talking for days. I’d be able to quote countless games of football on hard parking lot asphalt. Countless shitty inside jokes that would find themselves repeated and circulated into oblivion. The time we all took a field trip to a shrine and collectively got a stomach bug from drinking the “holy water”. Playing baseball with tennis rackets because our gym equipment was utter shit. Being part of a weird little family, at least for a little while.

The school closed a while back.

Catholic and private schools really aren’t doing so great around where I am, so the story’s rather common. The doors shut from an inability to keep the place running sufficiently. Now the place operates as a…hell, I’m not even sure what it is, anymore. I see people going in there to use the old gym for community basketball games, and the smaller rooms being used for pre-k sessions. But I’m not even sure when and if the other rooms are even still in use. It’s hard not to hope sometimes that I’ll sneak in there one day and find the old desks still in place – marked up in pencil, familiar handwriting and all.

It’s odd walking by places, knowing they’re not what they were. Buried somewhere underneath is the memory. The old routine. The page from the scrapbook. The simplest of things.

 

The Old School

Hello back.

I took this picture while my girlfriend and I were wandering around this patch of green owned by the university I go to.

meeither

It’s a nice little spot with a few trails that branch off up hills and through the woods – a good place to just set out and get lost for a little while, you know, walk from tree to tree and just breathe it all in. That being said, my sense of direction is absolutely terrible, and I didn’t follow Paige’s sage advice of “let’s take a picture of the trail map”. In my defense, though, I don’t think too many people actually ended up doing that either. We ran into two different groups – one asking where the bamboo gardens were (fuck if I knew – I probably sent them off in the one direction with my vague answer), and the other shuffling hastily around us, trying not to make eye contact and make it weird. Eventually we came across this post, and a little ID sticker slapped on it grabbed my attention. I just had to laugh after I read it.

Because…well, me either, person. Me fuckin’ either.

Hello back.