Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday #70: Make Yourself At Home

Happy Sunday, folks!  How are things in your little corner of the world?  Over here in Seattle, it's a sunny, lazy Sunday afternoon.  It's been a long, busy week so I'm enjoying my clean home with some Lana Del Rey playing in the living room.  I typically make no plans on Saturday and spend it doing home stuff, which includes cleaning my house so I can thoroughly enjoy it on the Sunday.  Old lady over here!  

Speaking of home, here is the "gallery" wall of my living room.  The table has a "Make yourself at home" sign a diffuser, candles, and flowers from the farmer's market.  I finally bought a guitar stand as incentive to display my baby and get back into the habit of regular playing.  Since I bleed money into rent, I decided to get as many functions out of my apartment as possible.  The living room functions as my office, music studio, gallery, home gym, and a photo studio, as you'll see below! 


My best friend Gina is an expert knitter and soon-to-be mom to both a little girl as well as a knitting business.  If you recall, she made me these beautiful hand-knit cat socks last year (pattern available here)!  She was in need of a photographer and model so asked if I would act as both for her new design.  You might've seen these already if you have Instagram, but I played one time model and wore her newest knit top!  I'm not used to being behind the camera, but I got a few shots that she liked.  I also did a flatlay photographs of the detailing above the hem in the back whilst accessorizing with fresh flowers from the farmer's market.  There you go.  The one and only modeling gig I'll ever have.


I always feel like I do the same things every week and don't go anywhere so there's not much to update y'all on, but there were quite a few new activities this week.  I'm jumping on a new (to me) project in lab which requires additional training on animal models so I've been completing a course at the University of Washington, which has been incredibly interesting!  I work with a few people in lab so I try to get in earlier nowadays to maximize productivity.  I'm usually drained by the time I leave, but it's also fulfilling so I can't complain.  I'm enjoying working with my newer colleagues a lot as well.  I also had brunch with a neighbor for the first time; it's nice to make new friends in the neighborhood.  

In other news, I'm turning 30 this upcoming Saturday.  My partner will visit me the weekend after so I'm going to have a few people over on the actual day for a small low key dinner with cooking by yours truly.  I'm thinking homemade apple pie, orecchiette with meat sauce, and a salad.  I have a lot to get done these two weeks so I can thoroughly enjoy my weekends! 


•  The new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix.  I've been rewatching the show lately.  It's an incredibly witty, feminist show as well as a satirical take on modern times. 
•  Every Breath You Take on repeat.
•  Fade Into You also on repeat.  I just really like old music, ok?

Saturday, June 09, 2018

La princesa en el laberinto

Remember when I mentioned that I've had a 33% success rate in finding models in Seattle?  Here is Io, the 33%.  Turns out we'd been following each other on Instagram long before I moved here and I recognized her when I was out one day.  Of course, I asked her to model and one of the locations we at which we worked was Gas Works Park.  The park is host to a retired oil plant and now features green pastured hills with views of the Seattle skyline.  I was mostly drawn to the industrial backdrops which I think provides a nice juxtaposition of old:new and weathered:youth.

The first working backdrop was a set of stone arches which I used to frame the model.  As I was editing, I definitely got a feel of a princess in a labyrinth.  I'm trying to edit differently and get out of comfortable aesthetic habits.  I deliberately edited the first photograph in this post to be darker and more moody.  What are your thoughts?  Yay or nay?

We found some of the abandoned rigs and took photos there as well.  Like most people who grew up with it, I love America's Next Top Model and was always jealous of the cool backdrops on the show.  We got a lot more photos than are shown here, but I loved the old metal rigs!  My running joke was that everything in the park was pretty much walking tetanus. 

The last location at which we worked was by the water's edge.  The nice thing about Io is that she's game for anything and engages completely with her surroundings so she does things I wouldn't normally ask models to try.  Because of that, we got one of my favorite photos where she dangled over the water's edge!  Having a model who is so dynamic means I can focus most of my energy on framing and composition in place of directing.  For more, you can check out my photography Instagram, @alyseliangphoto, where I've posted additional images from this day in my feed. 

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Sunday #69: Honey, Honey

Saturday brunch: Wasa bread + brie + prosciutto, scrambled eggs, avocado, coffee.

Hello, June!  It's a new month and you know what that means?  I've submitted the final draft of my thesis so, pending final approval by the dean of my graduate institution (as well as arrival of my diploma), my Ph.D. is official.  You may call me Dr., but nobody does that.  Honestly, having those three letters after my name doesn't feel drastically different.  I never have to take another academic exam in my life so that's a new and strange feeling.  People keep telling me that I'm now living the postdoc life so it should be less stress!    


They say it takes 21 days to establish a new habit so I want to dedicate June towards being more frugal with my money.  Now that I am officially out of school, my student loans are kicking in.  Living alone means paying more in rent and footing 100% of all utilities.  Living is expensive!  Your girl has a bad habit of eating out a lot so I'm making it my goal to cook almost all my meals at home this month.  I also need to eat more red meat so I'm cycling through making red sauce with meatballs or ground beef to eat over orecchiette or barley.  The Saturday brunch was what I had for breakfast both weekend days.  It was pretty yummy because I don't believe that eating at home should be boring.  I've finally purchased a coffee maker as well so I can stop bleeding money each morning.  The honey up there was a cheeky purchase from the farmer's market so maybe I can switch to black tea some mornings. 


We had a four day work week though everyone in our lab went in to work on Memorial Day for some capacity.  I had a fairly eventful work week for four days.  For one, I'm troubleshooting things in lab which isn't fun, but necessary.  I was invited to enjoy a wonderful homemade meal (gimbap, salmon, pork with veggies, and rice!) with good company.  I am planning a menu to invite them over in turn.  

Having company also entails that I get some seating arrangement for my apartment which is pretty much completely set up now!  I only have one chair that I use with my desk so I need some dining chairs or floor cushions.  I'm sharing a photo of my living room which functions as an office and home gym.  I don't have a couch or TV, but that's not really necessary!  I can consume trash TV in my bedroom, sitting on my memory foam mattress, and with my laptop perched on top of a coffee table I acquired from my boss.  

Friday was National Donut Day and our lab had planned to get some donuts.  However, the morning donut trip was postponed by a police standoff in the middle of the city!  Probably against our better judgement, everyone in the building clustered around the office windows to watch.  There were policemen with guns and rifles aimed at an armed man in the middle of the street.  Thankfully, no one was hurt and the suspect was taken into custody.  We ended up getting our donuts after the streets were cleared for occupancy again.  I've never seen a rifle in real life and it was definitely one of the craziest things I've observed here because Seattle's been very calm so far.

I've spent most of my weekend catching up on sleep, cleaning my house, and doing massive amounts of laundry (clothing, towels, and sheets).  That probably sounds boring to a lot of you, but I'm a homebody and getting to be a hermit for two days taking Me Time is really my dream.  Now I'm upon the bittersweet hours of Sunday night when the weekend is almost over, writing this post whilst listening to 80s music.

Questions for the week:
1.  What recipes do you turn to for meal prep?
2.  What is your ideal weekend like?
3.  What is your favorite donut?