Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wedding in Belgrade

Tapes 'n' Tapes

I wanted to practice the techniques used in photojournalism. What I attempted to do was document this event so that the camera would tell the story. I got close to the front and shot about 400 photographs. I was going to display ten of the best shots, captioning them to narrate the event. I played around with camera settings, used both manual and automatic, and flash/non-flash shots, but none of the shots came out clear enough to use. Even though the pictures didn't come out like I intended, I kind of like the blurred lights and abstract motion.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A little break goes a long way

After a weekend working on writing projects, I took a trip to the New England aquarium.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Outside of Boston at the Body + Soul magazine headquarters, in Watertown, a crew of sophisticatedly casual dressed women and a few men work behind computers and share ideas while sipping on cups of tea. Terri Trespicio is the Senior Editor at this magazine--focused on whole living, being green, and reinforcing health practices through natural methods—she has spent her workdays in this office for the last five years.

Ms. Trespicio, 35, doesn’t hide her enthusiasm for working at Body + Soul magazine. “I’m in the fortunate position of being able to do what I love for a living,” she said. “I don’t work out of obligation to the boss; I work because I believe in what I do and I own it, and will take all I learn with me wherever I go.” That crafting is evident in the way she mastered her own healthy practices, which include healthy eating habits, keeping a gratitude journal, and practicing yoga. These practices are written about by the B+S team, confirmed by experts on the topic, and published in the magazine. Like much of her past work, it is done out of her own desire to find pleasure in what she does.

First trying her hand at professional creative writing, Ms. Trespicio worked as a copywriter for the nation’s largest wig distributor for women. “I found opportunity in an unexpected place,” she said. She got this position while finishing up her MFA in creative writing at Emerson College. The job provided the eagle-eyed skills necessary for becoming a contributing member of a creative team. “I learned a lot there about working with art and...[how to] create and maintain a relationship with the customer and continue to come up with fresh ideas,” she said. Ms. Trespicio quit after learning all she could within the position.

For Ms. Trespicio success has been based on hard work and tuning in to figuring out her dreams. During several summers in her 20s, Ms. Trespicio would take a few weeks off to travel along side her Uncle, the late Rev. Robert Barone, who was a professor of theology at the University of Scranton. “My Uncle was always my biggest fan,” she said. They traveled to Jerusalem and all over Italy in a study group led by Barone. “The time I spent with him each summer was tremendously influential on the way I viewed my life and its potential,” she said. “When I would tell him I was worried whether I’d be good enough to do this or that, he’d say that everyone has their own background that in turn uniquely prepares them for what they’ll end up doing.”

There is a level of honesty and directness about Ms. Trespicio that is immediately apparent and central to what people like about her upon first interaction. At 29 she went to interview at Body + Soul magazine. “I looked around the room –then a small team of bookish editors, and said “Do you know what kind of person you’re looking for with this editor position?” said Ms. Trespicio. “Because if it’s someone very quiet and subdued, I’m probably not the person for you.” She remembers the interviewers being tickled by the question. She was hired.

Ms. Trespicio is well versed in the gift of gab with having a long list of prominent multimedia skills on her resume from radio personality to television spokesperson. The buy up of Body+ Soul magazine by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia provided a chance for Ms. Trespicio to develop her energetic personality for live entertainment. Her reputation as the voice of Body + Soul came together when she became the prominent figure doing appearances on local and national television shows. Ms. Trespicio currently host the daily show “Whole Living” on Martha Stewart Living Radio on Sirius XM as well as doing several guest appearances on “The Martha Stewart Show.” She appeared on the same show along side Bill Clinton promoting his book “Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.” Ms. Trespicio has appeared on several occasions for the New England news station NECN, for their segment called Health Week, which promotes healthy living including topics ranging from stress management to healthy eating.

“I think it’s too bad that people see “eating healthy” as some kind of insufferable chore, a life of wheat germ and raw veggies,” she said “As someone who embraces and practices a healthy lifestyle, I see food as an opportunity to make a healthy choice everyday—but that does not in any way mean sacrifice to me. I see food and the process of eating, preparing, or anticipating it as a sensual pleasure.”

Ms. Trespicio authentic personality may be the reason she is able to juggle so many tasks at once while collaborating with others. Along with freelance writing outside of the magazine, Ms. Trespicio teaches in the publishing certificate program at Boston University. It was also this year Ms. Trespicio contributed a story on traveling to the Bahamas in the book, “The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2009.”

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hired... Fired?

That was a quick run.

I haven't worked for even a week when my position as a food runner at the Beacon Street Tavern came to an end.

The manager or what I like to call him, the Irish General Patton liked me and I did him. We related on an intuitive level. I picked up on his nods and looks while being quick on my feet. I took his barking kitchen codes like "Table top four is on fire" and "Focus, 86 that dish" decoding the meaning then following the orders. I was diplomatic when choosing what dishes went out first and whose hands got either a scalding hot plate or a heavy dish of oysters. Everything was going smoothly considering my second day fell on Valentine's Day, the most popular night to dine out.

Then the owner reviewed my resume saw I had no previous restaurant experience and that was the end of my career at the Tavern. I'm not taking it personal, as the manager advised me to do. I see it as starting to become part of a team and getting the early cut.

Time to embark on a new challenge.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Please consider signing this petition.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stop Stress, Stay Healthy

I'm interviewing Ms. Trespicio, Senior Editor of Body + Soul magazine tomorrow.

Here's some tips Terri has for:

Preventing and Managing Stress-

Staying healthy-

Getting Better Sleep-

Irish Dancing Monkeys-
Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes and to my Dad for sending me Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential and all of Neil Gaiman's audiobooks.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

First day volunteering at 826 Boston, The Bigfoot Research Institute.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Death of the Newspaper and How to Raise the Dead

Plan A: Editors, authors, and deans from journalism schools across the nation voiced their opinions on survival strategies dailies will need to adopt:

(from the NYTimes)

Plan B: Walter Isaacson, author of this week's TIME magazine cover story about saving newspapers, appeared as a guest Monday on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to give his advice on how to save the newspaper.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Slate magazine's academy award coverage is nothing less than brainy. The sometimes controversial writers at Slate are direct, executing their ideas in humor rather than through frustration. The story, Batman Goes Bananas explains why Christian Bale’s latest freak-out may have permanently lost him his chance to be nominated for an Oscar. Chatting about The Oscars reveals why certain movies get nominated and uncovers what members of the committee actually look for when appointing a winner for the best picture.

Ron Rosenbaum is one of Slate's top writers covering the awards. His past critiques appeared in Vanity Fair and New York Times Magazine as well as doing movie reviews on NPR. Before this work, Rosenbaum spent ten years traveling and doing research on Hitler for his book "Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil." His analysis is honest as seen in his newest story "Don't Give an Oscar to The Reader." He writes, “The fact that it was recently nominated for a best picture Oscar offers stunning proof that Hollywood seems to believe that if it’s a “Holocaust film,” it must be worth of approbation, end of story."

Some articles are full of exhaustible colloquial banter, but they're backed up with expert opinion and solid analysis of what to expect from this year's Academy Awards.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm Listening

Take a look at one of Neil Gaiman's imaginative audiobooks >
Driving down to central Mass to take ski lessons.

First ski experience... hope I don't die.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pictures from Harvard's Hasty Pudding : Click Here

Fire Breaks Out in Beacon Hill

Celeste described to me what she witnessed and I wrote it as a feature story.

A two-alarm fire broke out in an apartment building in Beacon Hill next to the State House last Friday. Black smoke shot out the windows sending residents scurrying for safety. Celeste Lam witnessed the fire from her office in John McCormack State Building.

The fire started about 4:20 p.m, “I smelled something really bad,” said Ms. Lam. She was informed of the blaze when a coworker brought up that the stench was coming from a fire down the street. “I was afraid because my apartment is near this building,” said Ms. Lam.

Three units worked quickly to extinguish the fire before it spread to any adjoining buildings including a threat to the nearby State House. “The firefighters arrived in five minutes,” said Lam.

The firefighters discovered immediately upon arrival that their fire trucks were too wide to get through the narrow streets in Beacon Hill.

“The firemen went to the very top of the buildings,” said Lam, “They jumped from one building to the next in order to get to the fire."

According to Ms. Lam the firefighters made an assembly line passing the hose from one another while balancing themselves on the ladder. “The firefighters had to pound on the window to get it open. There was huge piles of black smoke,” said Lam.

The firefighters who responded to the blaze had it under control by 5:00pm.

Officials have not released the cause of the fire. There were no reported injuries.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I discovered metacritic last week and its definitely one of my favorite websites out there. Unlike any other website for reviewing the arts, metacritic lists the reviews from esteemed writers and well-known publications on a variety of new releases from music, books, TV shows, and movies.

The site is intuitive and easy to navigate. Metacritic takes the essential quotes of each critic's review to create a short summary. If I'm in a rush, I can read the excerpts and come up with my own consensus of the reviews. If one of the excerpts seem particularly intriguing, then I can click on the hyperlink and read the entire article from the publication's website.

Metacritic has a personal score system called metascore. This is useful, if I'm considering seeing a movie and don’t want to learn too much about the plot. I can skim down the line at the numeric scores and see the averaged out grade the movie received.

Metacritic also has a top ten list of favorite picks from retail stores like amazon (based on consumer popularity) to local weeklies across the nation.