Sunday, January 3, 2010

Over Here! I've moved!

In my endless quest to not look like a moron, I've decided to upgrade the old bloggo to showcase my pictures and to stay in line with the look and feel of my website. So without further ado, I give you:

Come and join the party. I'm all alone right now and could use my friends.
Have fun poking around the menus and links. Be patient while I finish loading my old posts into the new space.

Oh, and let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Um, I'm a Mac?

So look at what Santa brought me for Christmas...

My cousin is going to kill me but I decided to go with my gut and get a Mac. I was wavering. Boy, did I waver. But I went with the thing that I believe will help me the most in my photography and with this fledging business.

Can I just say: Geez, Louise this thing is beautiful. My website looks awesome! Sorry, it just felt like I was looking at it for the first time ever given that I had the tiniest laptop on the planet before this. The monitor is going to burn my retinas but it's worth it.

I'm surprised at how quickly I'm adjusting. The real test will be when I get photoshop and start editing. I hope I don't have to re-learn everything. That'll suck. Anyway, stay tuned for updates on my adventures with Buddy. I named it Buddy. Things like this have to have names. Also the little Budda that I placed underneath the screen seems to like it. Buddy and Budda...we're going to get along just fine.

How about you? Have you crossed the great divide to get a Mac? What's life like on this planet? Sound off in the comments. 


During my time in New York, I called The Academy of Art and withdrew from school. I failed to mention that after Phase I, there was a Phase II (getting accepted) and a Phase III (registering). I was scheduled to start February 1st with two classes. I was awarded financial aid. In other words, I was all set to go.

So why did I quit before I even started (wasting money in the process)? The answer to that is I'm not sure. All through the application process, I was nagged by this uneasy feeling. Maybe uneasy is the wrong word, but I couldn't help but feel that this wasn't the right path for me. I never listen to myself, so I started down the path despite the feelings. Part of me wanted to see if I could get in. Another, more prominent part, really wanted to go; to be a student and excel.

But a funny thing happened the last week before Christmas: I had three photo sessions in one weekend. I was out shooting, taking some of the best pictures I have to date and I was doing it without the help of school or the judgement of a professor. Now, I'm not saying that I won't benefit from the critical eye of a seasoned veteran or anyone really, I just don't know if it's worth going $50,000 in debt to get it.

While I was talking to different people about whether to quit or not, I was told that it takes more courage sometimes to NOT do something; to say no. Ultimately, the decision not to go to school was the best decision I could make. How would I, you're run-of-the-mill human girl with no notable super powers, be able to do well at teaching (which, after all, is my job for the foreseeable future), start a business, succeed in school and continue to be an amazing wife and friend? Could I do it? Hell, yes. Do I have to? No. I like the lining of my stomach, just fine thankyouvermuch. I cannot afford to get an ulcer over this. I don't want to lose all these other things that are so precious to me, just to prove to myself that I can do it.

I'm trying not to have the knee-jerk reaction of calling myself a quiter. I never quit anything. Well, maybe the gym and we see how that's turned out. I never withdraw. I never surrender. But at the end of the day, I'm not some gladiator facing a formidable opponent or a soldier fighting against an unknown threat. I'm just living my life. And I've learned that life, like a marriage or a relationship, takes compromise if you want to make it worth living.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Off the Rails

So I totally got stuck on a train yesterday. For serious. It was at once awful and an interesting experience. Settle in, you're about to hear a story.

I took the train up to White Plains to meet my great friend and former roommate  Carolina. I only get to see her a couple of times a year so I was delighted to get to make the trip. Seeing her is like being home. Anyway, we had a great visit: ate some lunch, shopped around, caught up on everything. Much too soon, the time came when she had to drop me off at the train station to make my way back to Mike's hometown. This is when the trouble starts.

It should be noted that I haven't taken a train ride since the summer and even then was with Mike so I never really had to pay attention. I get on the platform forgetting that the board announces the train's final destination, not the next stop. Like an ass, I hop on the train for North White Plains since that's the next stop I know I have to take. I know this because Mike equipped me with a list of all the stops to White Plains. "The list is reversed when you're coming back home," he says. Duh, I think.

I get on the train heading to North White Plains and what I think is my final destination. I get cozy in a corner with a book and my ipod for the 40 minute trip. Next thing I know, the train is crawling slowly and there is a train really close on my left. I look to my right and see that there is no platform. When I look around me, I see that there are no people and that I'm on a completely empty train. Now, I don't know if you've gathered from reading my blog, but I'm not a calm person. Never have been, never will be. Suffice it to day, I start to freak out. 

My default setting for when things like this happen to me is to call Mike. I dial as I begin to walk up and down the train car not sure which direction to take. When he answers, I let loose: "I'm stuck on the train. There is no one on here. I don't know where I am. aldjfwe&&*#$%#!ouowaielnasldhfoasdhfljhasd." (I started to get incomprehensible towards the end there) But it's not Mike, it's his brother, Andrew, and then our friend, Aaron, telling me to calm down; asking me where I am. "I don't know," I say. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get out of the damn train car. It's locked. I start pressing the emergency button but those bastards don't answer.

Suddenly, I see this guy walking next to the train and I knock on the window. I'm surprised at how calmly I'm knocking given that I just had a Stage 3 freakout (out of 5). He looks at me like he's seen this before. I just tell him I'm from out of town.

When I look around, I'm in the middle of a train yard about three blocks from the North White Plains station where I had to apparently get off and transfer to the express train. I have to take this little path, like I'm walking the yellow brick road, all the way back to the train station. I'm a city girl, born and raised, so I'm not a fan of isolated places surrounded by trees. I know that I don't want to wait in this train stop for the next train that comes in an hour. Eventhough there were people there, I wasn't feeling it AND I still wasn't sure whether this was the right station in the first place.

Luckily, I don't have to wait long. Like a pack of knights those three swooped up in a Honda CRV and saved me. I was a little shaken the rest of the night, maybe a little worse for wear, but I can laugh about it now much to my sister's chagrin. Did I mention that I hate trains?

All Pictures © Elaine Palladino 2009

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