Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Ho Hum(mus) Valentine’s Day

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Today has been interesting. I had to run some errands this morning to get ready for a shoot tomorrow, after which I had three clients and some shopping.

When I buy strange combinations of items, I always wonder what the checkout person is making up about me. Today my purchase consisted of a shiny red blender, a day planner, a shiny red neglige, two pairs of panties (shiny and red!), six boxes of chocolates, and two bottles of nail polish (one of which was shiny. And red). I was clearly planning a really interesting night.

Or something. I painted my nails (satiny, shiny red) and then took to the blender (perhaps not an ideal order… should have pulled out the day planner first!) and made a batch of homemade hummus. My friend Heather, who writes a great food column, makes the most delicious hummus and I’ve been dying to give it a shot. I still don’t have a food processor, but the blender did a pretty good job of faking it.

Combine 2 cans of garbanzo beans, the juice of one lemon, and minced garlic (I used four or five cloves, but if you’re not a garlic fanatic like me, two is the normal dose) and blend until smooth. You might have to spot-test your mix. Mine looked pretty creamy but had chunks of ninja bean hidden under the placid surface. Once your beans are blended, gradually mix in olive oil and spices to taste. One recipe I found suggested 1/3 of a cup of oil but I don’t think I used quite that much. As for spices, salt is a good place to start, and you can get creative from there. I used a Mediterranean blend for my first batch, but I think in the future I’ll try something a bit spicier.

Hummus is delicious and not quite as bad for you as many dips (don’t get me wrong: it’s full of oil, which is fine in moderation, but not great in quantity), but it’s often $5 or $6 for a little tub. This costs about $1 per cup to make and is very easy.

Cleanup

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Today was laundry day. Occasionally unwilling as I am to stuff clean, folded clothes into the R’lyeh I call clothing storage areas, I went through my entire closet, including every drawer of my (very big) dresser. I made several startling discoveries:

1. Organizing my closet into “fits now” and “fits soon” makes it easier to conceptualize what’s currently available and gets me really excited about what I get to start wearing again soon as I continue to shed pounds. Things that technically can be zipped but do not fit as designed are not “fits now.”

2. The “fits now” category is almost everything I own. I have ONE item that’s too big, and I only bought it a few months ago. This means for the last two dress sizes I’ve been wearing (and buying) clothing that I should have recognized as being substantially too small. No wonder I thought I looked bad all the time. Nobody looks good in clothes that don’t fit. The upside of this is that nearly everything I own *actually* fits now.

3. Tee shirts for companies and organizations I would never, ever consent to work for again, do not support, etc do not belong in my house.

4. Items that I have for sentimental reasons but don’t ever wear don’t belong in my dresser.

5. Items that are really amazing fabrics but have holes in them (or that I just don’t wear) don’t belong in my dresser either. I can repair them, cannibalize them for scrap, or throw them away.

6. I have a ton of really cute stuff I don’t wear because it’s buried under stuff I don’t wear or it’s balled up and wrinkly.

7. Seriously, a TON of stuff. I threw away a shopping bag full of orphan socks, and my sock drawer is still full.

April Community Events in Riverside

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Trash the Dress with Vegas Beauty Anna Allred
Sunday, April 17th the lovely and talented Anna Allred will be visiting from Las Vegas expressly to pose for a public bridal portrait and trash-the-dress open shoot.

We’ll be starting off in a lovely rose garden with a gazebo and classic garden seating for elegant bridal portraits, before moving into the untamed wilds as Anna tears, drenches, climbs, and generally annihilates a beautiful gown from my own collection.

You must register in advance in order to get location information. Participation costs $30. Bring your own release if applicable.

Learn Visual Techniques, Shoot, and Enjoy the Good Weather!
April 23rd I’m leading a nature hike up Riverside’s Mt. Roubidoux. Along the way we’ll stop at picturesque locations and enjoy the beauty of spring with frequent photo ops. Whether you’re photographing the beauty of the mountain or a beautiful subject of your own, photographers of all experience levels (and physical conditions) are welcome to join this mild hike. I’ll be giving casual instruction throughout on how to apply visual techniques such as composition, line, color, and simplicity in order to enhance the impact of your images. Participants are welcome to BYOM at no additional cost.

$20 to join.

Attend both and save!
Pay for both events via paypal and save $10! Send $40 to jenna@jennablackphotography.com before April 15th, and make sure you include contact information so I know who you are!

Nobody Heard them Scream

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In the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, it is not a safe time to be a woman. Girls between 10 and 25 disappear, often in broad daylight. The people call them Las Muertas de Juarez (The Dead of Juarez) and feminicidios (femicides). Their kidnappings or murders are not investigated. The local government’s response was, “They asked for it.”

According to Mexico’s official statements, as few as 28 women had been slain by 2005. By the same time, Amnesty International estimated nearly 400 deaths. A local newspaper recently estimated the death toll around 800, but other local sources have suggested more than 5,000. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported,

“The victims were generally reported missing by their families, with their bodies found days or months later abandoned in vacant lots, outlying areas or in the desert. In most of these cases there were signs of sexual violence, torment, torture or in some cases disfigurement.”

Several arrests were made in the 1990s, but with 15,000 casualties to Mexico’s drug war last year, the government has made no effort to stop the ongoing masacre of the women of Juarez.

Photographer Maya Goded, a Mexican national, has spent ten years chronicling the lives of marginalized women in her country, from the victims of Juarez’s blood sport to the prostitutes of La Merced. Her award-winning exhibition is on display at UCR’s Califonia Museum of Photography until April 16th.

UCR/California Museum of Photography
3824 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92501

Tuesday-Saturday Noon-5pm