Friday, January 30, 2009


my husband was home to sign for the new lens and try out the canon 5D mark ii for the first time, and i was so excited to see that not only did he take the initiative to learn how to use the camera, but he found creative things to photograph that i would never have even considered within our property lines.
i went to an arts school on granville island as a kid, then as a teenager, for many years, and while i took classes in everything from print-making, to sculpting, to animation, to ballet, lyrical, jazz (and even interpretive dance, now that i think about it), photography was a course that i was excited to do over and over again. i spent a lot of time in the darkroom because i felt i'd run out of things to take pictures of in that little tourist locale. ten years later, though, i guess i've rediscovered what granville island has to offer, and i'm excited that my husband found new ways to capture everyday images in and around our home. i spent the money on the new 24mm lens (i had to cancel my lens order mid-shipment because i didn't realize i'd bought the old version), and we're both blown away with it so far, so the extra $700 was worth it. apparently it only has 8 diaphragm blades, compared to one of my nikkors that has 9, but it makes everything outside the depth of field look oh-so-creamy-beautiful, and i can't wait to make good use of it.
that's hakoinu, which is japanese for "cardboard dog". there's a fantastically whimsical little store in the gastown area of vancouver called occupied, from a rare breed of wonderful shops akin to places like schmancy in seattle. we first stumbled upon haikonu onscreen at occupied and were delighted to bring home not only the dvd, but the little box dog himself. he's featured in a sweet silent-type japanese film with relaxing music. a boy unable to have pets in the apartment building creates hakoinu. his parents take travel-gnome-like photos of him with hakoinu, which are kept in the top of the dog's head for safe-keeping where they become hakoinu's "memories." sadly, the boy and his family move away, leaving hakoinu behind, and the little box dog spends the movie trying to find the boy, visiting the places captured in all his memories. i wish there was just a snippet of the movie on youtube to feature, but there isn't.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

gong hei fat choi

mmm fried bread and sesame-filled mini buns.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

last of the berries in winter

today: dozens of robins swarmed our trees out in front for these red jewels. i met with a great girl whose wedding i'm going to shoot at the end of may. my nikon flash came in the mail. i battled it out on the phone with my credit card company to get my canon 5D mark ii and a 24mm f/1.2 L-series lens transactions approved. my new lens and camera left new york and are on their way to my front door.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

soosie's chivaree

chaia threw soosie a chivaree, aka anti-bridal shower, complete with jeopardy, pictionary, and a cute story about the happy couple filled with adverbs, adjectives, and nouns that we made up. we wore nametags with our names spelled backwards. lorinda's sounded like a drug name - adnoral, and viktoriya's, ayirotkiv, still managed to sound very, very russian. wendi's was the cutest, most pronounceable, and perhaps most eskimo-sounding: idnew. for my first round of pictionary, chaia, miss drawing extraordinaire, gave me "bridesmaid dress that doesn't fit"....touche, so i drew a tv, a wii, and a man on a balance board to try and elicit the word "fit" from the group.





who knew we would have two dark-haired russians in one room. the one above had some fun with my camera and looking through what she shot, crooked doesn't necessarily have to scream "look at me, i'm crooked":






bridal shower....


saturday night dinner




Tuesday, January 6, 2009


there is a fancy little fruit whose name has eluded me for many years. i requested many of them for my wedding cake, and even the chef at the bakery couldn't tell me what it was called. it sometimes makes appearances on fancy catered platters, either cloaked within a membrane of leaves, or emerging from them like a tiny inverted umbrella. the 20-something year old waiters at death by chocolate never know what it's called, and they usually tell me i'll easily find it at asian produce stores. there are none to be found at t&t and there is always a serious language barrier between me and the only people that might know what it is. so to granville island, where for 25 cents i discover my tangy little orange fruit is indeed called a "gooseberry." hooray for gooseberries!

Monday, January 5, 2009

christmas portraits

mutts12-23-08that comic above pretty much sums up my christmas. since andrew couldn't get any time off work around christmastime, christmas spirit was pretty grim around the house, and we decided to hold off till ukranian christmas....which is technically tomorrow, i believe, but this year will serve as some random date after christmas to eat a good (ukranian) feast and perhaps do the gift thing. i did get him two small things, but he got me nothin'. thank goodness his family braved the impending snowfall on the 25th and saved christmas!
framei took some photos of emily and andrew last month to give to their mom as a brother/sister christmas gift, and while i've made things like jewelry and purses many times before, giving photographs was a first for me this year, and it packed so much more punch than pretty ear danglies. we had fun walking around granville island with its bold, colorful buildings, but it was very, very cold.

i have mixed feelings about christmas, and it's the same sentiment i have when i'm faced with yet another family birthday with each new month. i'm so tired of giving stuff for the sake of giving stuff, and receiving it, too (although andrew's family gets me the most intuitively perfect gifts i've ever received, so that's not included in this blanket statement). do any of us really need more things? no. perhaps moreso for me because i lack the capacity to throw anything out and i am already struggling with organization issues. if i find some fantastic gift for someone, then i think it's very appropriate to buy it and gift it. take a stemless wineglass set i found for my dad, who is constantly knocking his merlot over and shattering glass all over the fireplace bricks. or really, really good knives that my mom can enjoy as her own for the first time in her life, and she cooks a lot. i don't know how she survived without good knives for so many years. i want to buy fu-fu a $1300 D90-SLR because i think he'd get really good use out of it with his children and be able to use all his old nikon lenses, and perhaps we'd never have to buy him a gift ever again (yes! because grown men are so hard to buy for! i don't think andrew and i have ever been able to successfully think of anything to get suk-suk). but buying a useless gift for the sake of just getting a gift is so frustrating to me.