As fate would have it, The Walking Dead New Season Premiere coincided with Valentine’s Day this year. Loyal ‘Dead fans’ certainly had to make the difficult decision: DVR it, or stay in and watch the show.

One girlfriend decided to surprise her Walking Dead fan boyfriend and created a combo Valentine’s Day/Walking Dead celebration.

Tying in elements of both Valentine’s Day and The Walking Dead, she wrote out a Valentine’s Day card with a hidden message. “I give you my heart, my brain, and my guts…” was accompanied by her presenting him with a steak (heart), ground sirloin beef (brains), and ground beef (guts). She then proceeded to reveal that these were the menu choices for the romantic dinner that evening. The heart was chosen, and a delicious “blood” steak was concocted.

Boyfriend got to enjoy the season premiere of The Walking Dead with his girlfriend in front of the tv eating their Valentine’s Day ‘The Walking Dead’ themed dinner paired with Carnivor brand cabernet.

Best. Valentine’s. Walking Dead Premiere. Ever.

Check it out below:

Riot Fest may suck, Riot Fest sucks but we still managed to pull some fun out of it. Actually, it truly rocked. Take a look through our photo coverage September 13-15 by Cindi Huang.

Day 1

 

 

Day 2

Day 3

I find it kind of fun and amusing to have people catch you in whatever current exterior predicament you happen to be in at a particular moment and totally get the wrong impression of what you’re like and who you really are.

On this particular day, I’m heading back to school after winter break comes to an end and I’m riding the El with some film equipment I was able to check out. I situate myself and take a seat, arranging my film equipment by placing my tripod on my seat, propping it behind me against the wall and the camera lens case on the floor in front of me. I take off my hat and gloves to reveal a bandage on the outer edge of my palm (where one would strike a block of wood in karate). I earned myself this flattering display from a wine glass that broke while I was doing the dishes. I start to pull out my makeshift makeup bag (the bag my makeup comes in when I buy it) and it crinkles in its flimsiness. I tend to leave my makeup on overnight and just reapply what’s gone awry in the morning. (Bad habit, I know) Anyhow, I didn’t give myself enough time to do my makeup at home and pushed this back to combine with my travel commute time. All the while, I’m sniffling to a runny nose because I’m getting over a cold.

At this point, I can feel all the inconspicuous and conspicuous looks pounding my way. I can only imagine what they’re thinking. “What’s the tripod for?” “What’s she doing that she’s got smeared makeup on and reapplying it now on the train?” “Is she a prostitute traveling from her last client? Is she on her way to her next appointment?” “Did she get that wound on her hand from a job gone wrong? Was the guy rough on her? Was there BDSM involved?” “Is she sniffling cause she has a weak immune system cause she’s got some sexual disease? Does she have AIDS?”

Yeah, I may have quite the imagination but I wouldn’t be surprised if something along these lines crossed their minds! Everyone knows how ridiculous unfiltered thoughts can be!

So that was the time people thought I was a sick, diseased prostitute who supplied her clients with video recording equipment. Maybe they thought I was a pornographer or a porn star. Hah! Circumstances can give people the completely wrong impression of you and really, I think it’s kind of funny! ‘Cause somewhere, at some point, in someone’s mind, you’ve been a crazy psycho. …And the world keeps spinnin’ round.

There’s a topic I’m bringing up today that is typically tucked away into the deep corners of your mind that you wish you could just toss out altogether. Maybe it hadn’t occurred to you; if that’s the case, I apologize for shoving this thought into your existence. It’s the fear of the possibility that upon death, all consciousness ceases; we completely flatline for good.

The first time this paralyzing fear pierced through my heart and settled into my stomach, I was about five years old. I can clearly envision where I was and what I was looking at. I was sitting in the bathtub enjoying the soothing, warm water while my mother was in the bedroom down the hall putting clothes away. I was staring into the shower faucet’s distorted reflection of myself. I remember the debilitating fear just hitting me out of nowhere. I called out for my mom and she came running.

I asked her what happened when we died. She said simply, “I don’t know.” As my mother, she added sweet nothings of God bringing us to Heaven. She calmed my fears and assured me into safety.

Throughout the years, the fear would occasionally come back. They were such rare occurrences and did not stay too long to cause much concern. Then a few days ago, I had one of the worst bouts of this gut-wrenching fear creep back into the forefront of my mind; this time, for a good part of a day with remnants lingering for two more (and counting). I’m currently writing this during the aftermath of this latest instillation of fear.

Let me describe this feeling. It is an utterly helpless, panicked, desperate feeling that makes you feel shaky and the worst kind of uncertainty. The fear churns like a popcorn machine and spreads throughout your body, continuously shifting so it constantly feels new as if you’re experiencing this feeling for the first time over and over again in quick succession. There is no other moment where I’ve felt more scared, small, and insignificant. It is the ultimate feeling of hopelessness.

I sought to get rid of feeling this way, if only temporarily. I searched for websites acknowledging and discussing this topic. I come across an article of someone who described this fear just as I have and the myriad of comments that followed from others who felt the same way. I read through many of the responses and found solace in some of the answers. As the feeling started to subside a little, the disturbing fact that we can never know for sure what happens upon death until it’s happening takes a permanent seat.

I also looked up the definition of ‘die’ and found two very different meanings that pertain to this very subject I’m writing about: 1) stop living and 2) used to emphasize that one wants to do or have something very much. Within the very definition of dying is the struggle I refer to in this article. We all die (stop living) and are also dying (to live and have [eternal] life). This struggle of irrevocably coming into existence and being given conscious thought paired with the binding promise and guarantee of an end that leads to somewhere unknown and therefore potentially nowhere is very powerful and very real. Everything important to you in your life and all your thoughts fall powerless underneath this all-encompassing umbrella that looms above us and everything we “know.” That is incredibly scary.

Recognizing and acknowledging all of this is the only way to get this fear under control. Simply ignoring it only delays its inevitable return. Instead of shunning it away like it’s some sort of taboo, learn to live with it and figure out how to fit it into your life. (In my opinion, this also applies to addiction.) I would compare this to a puzzle: your life comprises of puzzle pieces; one of those pieces represents a fear you have. How did this piece come about and get assigned to one of your fears? You did when you let it into your life. (It’s important to note that I am not blaming anyone for letting anything into their lives; there are no preventative measures to be taken; it is as effortless as energy exchange between items of differing temperatures.) Once it’s in, it’s in, if only leaving the evidence of having changed you. As the puzzle pieces are permanent, it wouldn’t make any sense to throw this puzzle piece in the corner so that it’s out of your physical sight. You’re going to need that piece for your puzzle. Other pieces need it to fit into the puzzle. So it would do you no good to toss your fears or puzzle pieces into a dark corner. Doing so will only delay your own progress and prevent you from functioning at your optimal potential.

Instead, your fears need to be faced head-on. Metaphorically speaking, with how big and monstrous they are, the only way to break free of the grasp it has over you is to get up close to it so that you won’t be able to see its massive size; they’ll be too large to fully take in or see up close. At this position, it’s much easier to not have to let its sheer monstrosity intimidate and have control over you. You’ll be  within range to chipping away at it and depleting its matter. Optimal strength you’ll possess and your odds of destroying your fears are at its highest.

Rather than ignoring your fears, you should figure out how to incorporate it into your life as a functioning tool for you to work with. This goes back to the positive suggestion “Make lemonade out of lemons.” There are numerous sarcastic remarks that can be made to dispute this method, but try as you might, you can’t ignore the fact that I’m onto something here. (The nerd in me goes, “Resistance is futile!”)

Now in my aftermath, I come out spinning my fear into motivational momentum. I am not and will never be perfect, but in turning this into a positive propeller, I accomplish more with my day than without this powerful mechanism of thought. (It’s all about perspective!) I periodically research this subject and anything else that would lead me to build my case of determining what is most likely to come after we die. I won’t go into my personal findings right now because what I believe is not important to this article. I do encourage anyone who identifies with this same fear I talked about to do their own thorough research, exploration, and discovery.

Harness your fear and let it motivate you instead. Focus on the positive and try your best to let go of worrying about that which you cannot control. Learn to work with your fear and let it become something that strengthens you.

[Remember, we are all on this journey together. Lean on each other for support. The least we can do is be there for each other.]

© Amy Girl Huge Smile Bunny Ears Nick (Plain)I simply get so much joy from seeing others happy, smiling, and laughing. I am fascinated by expression and reaction to the discovery of the contents of each new second. I am delighted by its infiniteness. Much of what I get to capture in my photography are beautiful moments that are otherwise gone within a matter of seconds. More often than not, a moment can happen and be over and done with in the time it takes to press down the shutter button. There are so many astronomically amazing moments rushing past us at any given point in time. Likewise, the different elements within the camera required to successfully capture these moments need to be in place. I love what I do and here’s how I’m able to produce such high-quality images. 

© Eddie and Sound FL Laughing (Plain)

I have that key ingredient of passion and love of others. I have that eye for the intricate and the interesting, no matter how minuscule; It’s all in the detail. I understand vision, light, and photography at a fundamental level. I am very particular in my framing and focus. After all, our own eyes can only focus sharply on a very small area at one time (the size of your thumbnail). Therefore, I am keenly aware of the crucial care required to handle the delicate focus of the camera and how it translates to the final product. On another foundational principle, light hits everything we’re able to see, and so anything deserves a shining spotlight and deserves to be celebrated whether it be a shred of dust that descends from its gathered habitat and falls unto the floor in a graceful manner or a moving moment shared between two people. To be able to catch and focus in on the beauty and even the ugliness of occurrences is truly humbling and rewarding.

© Feel-Good Hug (Plain)
These stills tell a story. They’re a storyboard of real life; A Storyboard of history. It’s really beautiful when you leaf through it. This is a major reason why I put so much value in photos and why I do what I do. When I think about what it is I do, all I feel is love and desire. There’s a healthy fire there that gravitates towards stoking others’ fires and happiness. I receive so much satisfaction from that.

Big Bowl of Splash

What particularly sets me apart from the rest: I go through and edit my RAW images one by one, giving each photo its own attention. I don’t batch edit my pictures. While a group of photos will be shot under similar lighting, each picture is its own image and hence, I treat them as such. I make each photo the best that they can be. By focusing on each individual picture, I am able to bring each photo to its optimal quality. I put the time and care into producing my images. It’s a service I’m happy to deliver.
© Smiley Face (Plain)
That being said, I operate with a quick, fast hand with no reservations. I am not daunted by high shot counts. I look forward to reviewing my thorough coverage. I always operate with the mentality of getting the shot as the most important factor; I have no thoughts about the workload I’m adding on for myself for later. I always have the purpose of what I do at the forefront of my mind. I am never misguided by extra time I need to spend on my projects because of my high shot count rate. I don’t even live in the realm of or think in terms of that being an inconvenience on my part. I’m here to get the best coverage of shots and I do whatever it takes, no questions asked. That is all I want and that is what my clients want. Working with someone with the same desires and goals will yield a 100% satisfactory result every time. That’s my guarantee. I deliver dedicated, caring, amazing work. If pictures evoke a thousand words, I make those words shine like gold.
Cold Syrup

Look and Slow Down

There’s been a growing appreciation for motivational speeches and insights about ourselves. It’s funny how we know all these principles and ideas that remind us and ground us yet we’re so surprised when we hear these simple facts. I feel it’s due to the fast-paced world in which we live in now. It’s all about chasing the next thing, looking forward, figuring out plans to come. There doesn’t feel like there’s time to slow down and focus on what’s going on in the present. It’s as if we don’t realize what’s happening within ourselves. We feel like we simply can’t afford to. I would equate this to the dilemma of a race car driver during a race: he knows he should probably stop for a tune-up but resists and may decide to forgo the pit stop because he feels that it is time he cannot afford to spend; the tradeoff doesn’t seem worth it. Instead of pulling over and getting the necessary tune-ups, he continues on in the race in order to not fall behind.

A lot of us are feeling this catch 22 effect of keeping up a pace quick enough to not fall behind in life, to succeed and such: Looking up ahead (the only way to maintain a fast pace without crashing into something unexpected) prevents us from, excuse the redundant phrase, smell[ing] the roses. Sure we anticipate what lies ahead by recognizing the obstacles in our way, where we currently stand and by evaluating how we’ll get from point A to point B. In other words, we know what elements exist in our lives. But the key difference here is that at such a fast pace, we’re only able to get a sense of the outside. We see the physicalities and the space that they take up in our lives, but as far as how they can potentially affect and are affecting us, we have no clue.

But if we did take the time to evaluate ourselves, really take the time to appreciate and enjoy day-to-day life and not just save that outlook and mode of feeling for “someday” or those vacations that are few and far in between, we would perceive that our place in the world has diminished. We would feel like that momentum we had accumulated and the time it took to gather that pace is going to waste. We would then feel we were at a standstill while we stopped to gather the energy and focus to build up the fuel to rev that engine and start moving again. That extra time taken to start up again is not a place we are comfortable being in. We feel that this pace that we strive to maintain is trivial to our success, our security, and in defining who we are.

Basically, the catch 22 we feel: we need to make money in able to enjoy life. But in order to make a living, we need to match and sustain the fast pace in which the world functions. At such a pace, we feel we can’t take the time to enjoy life without feeling inadequate. We fill this void by putting more focus on making money. And thus, the perpetual cycle of emptiness and feeling lost circulates.

[Note: when I speak about the world, I only mean first world countries. You know, the world I live in. I would be arrogant to speak about a world I virtually know nothing about. (I am fed information that would lead me to believe I know about the way third world countries operate, but I feel that I would have to experience it for myself to really know. I don’t believe everything the media tells me to believe. More on that another time.)]

We’re caught up in this paradox the man-made world has inevitably led us to. Unfortunately, there is no way to create more hours in your day. And there is no way you can forgo on sleep and maintain your best optimal abilities. The good news is, God willing, we have a good set amount of time to live. That’s right, to live. That means experiencing the true meaning and purpose of being alive, which I hope you would agree is to enjoy, love, and feel. That catch 22 up there that I mentioned? It’s not ironclad. Notice how I said we feel this catch 22.

Fortunately, we have the ability to experience all that life has to offer while continuing to succeed and make progress in our career goals and endeavors. You can make money and feel secure while simultaneously striving to preserve the real purposes of living. (I stress the importance of the vice versa here as well) We don’t have to feel lost in ourselves. Thankfully, we have these amazing teams of people who spin out messages to us that remind us who we are and to pay attention to and to take care of ourselves. All we have to do is take that time to listen, incorporate that into our mentality, and remember to not forget. That will make all the difference. So let’s cheers to a healthy, successful life full of love, enjoyment, excitement, vibrancy, and above all, awareness. Here’s to feeling whole and knowing we are not alone. We all have each other. Slow down and enjoy the ride together.

Hii!!! This is my first post! I’m excited to get this off the ground and on my way to the limitless potential that awaits me. I would like to start by just sharing my thoughts about photography and why I do what I do. I’ll be introducing everyone to the other work that I do in my next post. For now, enjoy the read and take care.

Love,
Cindi

I love photography. I have such a huge passion for capturing images. What I love about it is that they emit such life by just standing still to be gazed upon. It’s truly amazing that a single image, a single, specific arrangement of pixels and luminance and color, can reach out and be so alive. We live in a moving world where living organisms do not stay still; where even inanimate objects are provoked into movement. We have recorded moving images that fascinate and thrill us. We are enchanted by the mobility of it all.

Yet we create works of stillness. They are admired upon, just simply for what it is. We pull out thoughts, feelings, emotions, and ideas from them. They inspire. We interact with them. They have the amazing power to pull us in. We choose to stare into something that will never move yet they have the ability to say so much. And in return, they actually move us. It’s absolutely beautiful.

There will never be the same image. There is never another one like it, just as each passing moment is unique in itself. Each snap of a picture parallels the continuous moving of time, a documentation of that specific fleeting moment in time. The image is sealed, and then the world continues to move on. We have the power and ability to pause life and examine it. That is tremendously phenomenal. I am just extremely grateful for this advancement in discovery, of the capabilities of this world; In us as humans. That I have a camera at my disposal to use as a tool to go out and point out and share the infinite beauty of the world.

Photography is a showcase of the world from all sorts of lenses. When I step back and think of all the combinations of angles, distance, height, brightness, subject matter, the camera choice, the lens choice, the eye through which the camera lens extends from, the moment your finger presses down on the button… I think of one grounded, humbling word: limitless. My job is never done. I find that ironically very satisfying. It’s a great reminder of the unlimited potential we are presented with. Thank you God.