Saturday, September 13, 2014


     With fall around the corner (insert major whining on my part) I figured I should probably stop using this photo I took last summer. While I'm not exactly a huge fan of the season, it is one of the two major seasons of change. Contrary to spring, where it's all about regrowth and addition, Autumn is a season of decay and removal (or as Voldemort would put it, "cutting away the canker"). It's about adapting to new climates and leaving behind hints of past seasons and turning towards a new direction which is awfully very fitting with where I am personally. It's the start of school for most kids in the west and although January 1st is typically the time where people try and let go of the past, it's dead in the middle between the first season of change and the second. Personally I've always found that my life changes and I have to remove things from it during September. I'm starting here. I chose colors that reminded me, not of the end of summer whose approach I'm still heavily in denial of, but of Thanksgiving and change. Thanksgiving is a holiday I'm always wary of celebrating due to its historical context but it's the one holiday where there's a great shift of warmth in the otherwise cold atmosphere. It's like summer abroad in a different season. It's always a weird time where I think about everything that's changed in the past year and what bits of it I'm thankful for in a positive way, and what bits I'm thankful for because I was able to learn from how negative they were. I've always found it difficult to be positive so I usually seek solace in change and progress instead, which is why I started my #100DaysOfProgress project on instagram earlier this summer. The warm colors and cool background are to remind me that I don't have to become colder as the environment does. The colder seasons are always rough on me but this time around, rather than allow the change in climate to make me inactive as it so often does, I'm going to try my best find important things that need changing, and change them. 

The new background is a crop of this photo I took with my first film SLR in the winter of 2011/2012

     As for the header, I decided to switch from one object in the title of this blog to the next. We're bidding farewell to Jones Soda bottles and welcoming in paper cranes.

Sean Tubridy
Sarah Neiman

Thursday, September 11, 2014

This Is How We Met

Folks outside the Met

     So last month I went to the Met (which I've mentioned maybe 40 times) and it was my first time going to an art museum. Previously I'd gone to some science museums and the Morris Museum which is a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I was most excited about seeing the art and seeing the Charles James exhibit. What I wasn't anticipating is how much the other viewers would affect my experience. I left realizing that the art is half the reason to go to a museum; the other reason is for the shared experience, even if detached, between you and the other museum goers. Hearing what they have to say about the art, observing how they admire it, all of it. My already strong desire to go to other museums at home and abroad was only fortified after this visit, but not just for the sights, for the variety of other people I might encounter and learning from them, too. (Trigger warning: there is a rape mention under the photo for the sculpture Lucretia which is a sculpture of a woman committing suicide. There are asterisks as the caption for the photo before this so that you know where to skip if necessary.)

The Temple of Dendur
There was someone sitting between these two and I JUST missed him as he got up
I ran into this photographer multiple times in the museum. I didn't talk to him or anything but we kept finding the same pieces interesting/worth photographing so obviously I had to catch him in the moment.
The person furthest from the foreground reminded me so much of my 12th grade English teacher. I think they were both sketching the sphinx. 

The fierce Diana

I'd be lying if I didn't say seeing this kid photographing wasn't the highlight of my day. 

Mr. James himself
So I was actually obsessed with this Pieta
My absolute favorite photo that I took that day. Shoutsout to the two strangers leaving the room for being the reason why.

***rape/suicide tw for below photo and caption***
Lucretia, Phillipe Bertrand
"According to ancient history, Lucretia was a virtuous Roman patrician who got raped by Sextus Tarquinius, son of the last king of Rome. She stabbed herself after suffering this indignity and her death ushered in the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of the republic." - from the museum card

These awesome young girls thought that they were in my way after I took this but I smiled to let them know that they weren't. They smiled back. 

We're gonna pretend my composition here was intentional. Anyway, it was the lady on the left who intrigued me in taking this, not the painting (although I'm still kicking myself for not reading the card for this).
I wish I could remember what he was telling her but he was sharing a lot of really interesting historical context for this piece.

He was really fascinated by this piece of art

So this taxidermied deer freaked me out a bit but I loved seeing this woman teaching the young boy about it. 
I unintentionally took several photos of these folks without realizing they were there until I took out my digital camera. By then they kinda didn't care that it looked like I was photographing them.
I couldn't tell if the dude sitting down was with her or not but seeing the difference with how they interacted with the room was enough for me to focus on them in separate photos.

Unfortunately I couldn't see all of the museum but I'm hoping I can go again sometime in the future and see what I didn't have enough time and hopefully I can bring company to add some more perspective to everything. I love love love this place. I can only hope that one day I'll have the chance to visit museums like the Louvre or the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Going to museums are singular experiences that really can't be replicated anywhere else. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


My glorious many-candled birthday cake
     I'm sitting in my living room right now watching Slacker, or at least attempting to for the millionth time just because I always end up getting distracted (aka writing this instead of watching it fully right now). The premise of the film, however, is enough to keep me going back and trying to watch it. From the Netflix site:
Told through a series of vignettes, this cult classic serves up surreal slices of what it's like to be a dropout in the college town of Austin, Texas.  
Of course this doesn't sound especially spectacular but it rings close enough to my actual experience that it draws me back in. At the end of my second year of college, where I was studying Secondary English Education, I decided enough was enough. Two years of being virtually alone, failing most of my classes, studying for something I didn't want to be even if I cared about it, and feeling like I was headed nowhere. I had enough. I wanted more for myself. I wanted more time to figure things out. Time, any time, to find where I should be and how I should get there. A few weeks ago, well over a year after this decision was made, after a few jobs and breakdowns and uncertainties I decided to go with my one constant: photos. No matter how good or bad or bland it's all been, I remained taking photos and trying new things with them. Life as a drop-out feels weird. You can feel yourself falling behind the rest of the world (the rest of your world).

* * *
It's been over a week since I started to write this post and since my birthday. I've been trying to collect myself the best I can. My future looks a very thick fog with a mirage behind it where sometimes I think I'm seeing myself becoming someone but then it fades and all I can see are clouds again. I wasted the better part of a great in-between year in laziness and procrastination borne out of fear that I'm not good enough. At 21, my only goal is to put all of this aside. I'm tired of being scared that I'm going to wake up one day and realize that I suck at everything. I can't care anymore. There's no way I can move forward until I allow myself to either come to that realization and move on or realize that I do have as much potential as I hope and push forward, fight hard, and get to where I need to be in life (keyword: need, not want). I always find myself filled with great hope and seeing how far people around me have been or can get and struggle to do the same with myself. I'm dropping all of that. I'm aware of my flaws, aware of my failures, but that doesn't mean that they're steel walls and locked doors keeping me from doing anything at all.  The only thing I care for at this point is that I try. Henry Ford once said, "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right." Do I think a bright outlook and trying hard alone will bring me success? Not really. With how competitive the world is, it's all about luck in opportunity. But will not doing these things help me either? No. What they will do is give me the satisfaction that I tried, that I believed myself to be good enough to try, and knowing that, if I do fail, it wasn't because I let my life and my chances pass me by. This is that 21 will be for. This is what I hope this next year is for you, reader. Take every denial, every rejection, every failure as something to analyze and dissect to better understand yourself and understand your career. Above all, honor yourself and your life and your experiences FOR YOU.

Wishing you all the best,
as always,
your homie for life,

(p.s. i've decided to scratch doing the updates because that's like more than half a month's worth of people and i'm going to change 3 neons to just neons and it'll be a semi-regular thing instead of weekly. journal lists will be semi-regular too but i'll try to do it weekly. this week, write down what you want for your future.)