How I Process My Photos, Part 1

People have complimented the colors in my photos and some have asked that I share my “techniques”. If any of you have noticed, I have a way of processing them and that I generally have 3 or 4 “color schemes” (that are similar to each other, just some minor tweaking). At first, I was hesitant to share (I still kind of am) because I don’t want to see a buttload of photos with the same colors/processing as mine and because my adjustment layers are a hot mess (when I edit my photos, I just create new layer upon new layer and then save the PSD for future use). However, I am not a greedy person (lol) and I’m all for sharing stuff like this.

A couple of things: This works best for well-lit photographs. My adjustment layers, like I said, are messy, may sometimes be redundant, and are stuff I just came up with by experimenting (and reading alli reviews HUHLOLZ).

So today, I will show you how to do this:

Continue Reading…

Dishes I’d Like to Learn How to Cook

Today, I realized that I have to learn how to really cook really soon. I never found the need to learn anything beyond basic dishes (frying hotdogs etc, making omelettes, boiling rice, promotional tote bags…no, wait) because I’ve always had other people to do that for me (mom, housemates, relatives) and because I have pretty boring taste buds and would pretty much eat anything that’s there. I have the meal preference of your typical dorm-inhabiting college student (yes, I still eat pancit canton with a hard-boiled egg and a can of tuna on the side ’til this day). The problem is I’m (already) 24 and hoping/planning to settle down and start a family with a certain person. I doubt I can serve our future children my tuna pasta for Christmas (basically a can of tuna simmered in some tomato sauce and poured over pasta noodles) and New Year’s.

For 2010, I told myself I have to learn how to make at least one soup dish (I picked tinola). I figure 365 days is too long to just learn one dish (besides, what am I, a slow learner?) so why not make a list of dishes I’d like to eventually learn how to make?

1. Chop suey.

Chop suey

2. Chicken curry. Not really a big fan of curry, though.

3. Sinigang. Not a big fan of sinigang, too, but I think that like adobo, this is a dish everyone needs to know how make.


4. Tinola.


5. Lasagna.

6. Spaghetti and meatballs. Thinking of you, Anne.

7. Fish (or shrimp) gumbo, in the rare event that I end up with freaks-who-like-fish for kids.

8. Menudo. The Filipino kind.


I’m almost useless in the kitchen. I say almost because I know how to wash the dishes!

Helga’s Top Tracks of 2009

If anything, 2009 gave us good music. This here is (obviously) a list of my favorite tracks from last year. I wish I could put them all in a zip file for you to download and listen to while you hit the treadmills (hrhrhr) or are on your way to work but meh, I’m lazy.

10) The Joy FormidableThe Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade

From A Balloon Called Moaning (which according to the band’s Wiki page was released in Japan in December 2008 but was released again in 2009), this song is #7 in my top tracks on lastfm. Harsh and sometimes grating, yet dreamy and hypnotizing. I don’t know how they do it.

9) Dirty ProjectorsTemecula Sunrise

Okay, so maybe Stillness Is The Move is the Dirty Projectors song and so maybe their collab with David Byrne, Knotty Pine (from Dark Was The Night), is unbelievably cute and happy and catchy but Temecula Sunrise wins me over because it is pure chaos. When I first heard this, I switched to my music player, checked the title, and thought to myself “What the hell is up with this song?” Keeee <3

8) Death Cab for CutieMy Mirror Speaks

Oh, Ben. Oh, The Open Door EP.

2009 was a strange strange year for me, with some aspects in my life (parts that I hold dearly) gone haywire. I did not turn to My Mirror Speaks for comfort; I listened to remind myself of what kind of person I do not want to be:

Cause I’m a man who hides from all that binds
In a mess of fading lines
And there’s a tangled thread inside my head
With nothing on either end

I always fall in love with an open door
Or the horizon on an endless sea

Nah-uh, do not want to be like that.

7) Passion PitThe Reeling

Manners is just so darn fun to listen to! If I recall correctly, I have at least four photos in my Project 365 set titled after Passion Pit songs: The Reeling, Little Secrets, Make Light, and To Kingdom Come. I pick The Reeling because aside from being the first song of theirs I heard and having the most plays in my iTunes library, it’s also deep and shit.


(I particularly prefer the Miike Snow remix).

6) Think About LifeNueva Nueva

Thank you, Canada, for Think About Life! I think more people should listen to them because they are unequivocally excellent. Nueva Nueva (which I find both uplifting and calming) is my favorite song to listen to while walking home at night, after work. Sweet Sixteen is a second favorite from their 2009 album, Family.

5) Grizzly BearForeground

Veckatimest was one of my most anticipated albums of 2009 and while each and every song from it is hauntingly beautiful (I initially gravitated towards Cheerleader, as I found the beat sexy), Foreground gives me goosebumps.

4) MetricHelp I’m Alive

Everytime I listen to this song, I have the urge to get on my feet, jump around, and dance badassedly. It’s also very very quotable; I don’t know how many times I’ve had to stop myself from tweeting “Help I’m alive, my heart keeps beating like a hammer” over and over again.

3) Animal CollectiveMy Girls

I get the hugest girlboner for Merriweather Post Pavilion (I bet my bottom dollar it’s on everyone’s Top 10/20 Albums of 2009 lists) and it was hard picking a favorite track off MPP (Summertime Clothes and Brother Sport are a couple of other superfaves). But because My Girls has the awesommest hook in the history of musics (I don’t mean to seem like I care about material things like a social status / I just want four walls and adobe slabs for my girls *insert animalish woop! in the background here*), I pick this.

2) Neko CaseThis Tornado Loves You

This song just blows me away.

1) Yeah Yeah YeahsHysteric

It’s like a sobering lullaby, the chorus being words I would whisper into the lover’s ear right before falling asleep.

1 99 100 101 118