Playlist: 17才

My 365 project ended up being a bust as soon as school got going because classes got very overwhelming very quickly! I still plan on taking it back up again as soon as I’m more on top of things, but for now my photo class, while teaching me a lot about technique, is totally killing my actual interest in taking photos.

So today I have a simple post for you: my go-to summer mix since I was in high school! Listening to it is making me excited for June already…

01 Stereo Total – Comme un garçon (Sylvie Vartan cover — Germany, 1995)
02 YUKI – the end of shite (Japan, 2002)
03 Margaret – aeba suki suki (when I see him I’m in love — Japan, 1968)
04 Brenda Lee – Is it true? (US, 1964)
05 GO!GO!7188 – naimono nedari (asking for the impossible — Japan, 2003)
06 The Carnabeats – koi wo shiyou yo jenny (let’s fall in love, jenny — Japan, 1967)
07 Karina – Igual que hoy (Spain, 1967)
08 Christine Pilzer – Ah-Hem-Ho–Uh-Err (France, 1967)
09 France Gall – La guerre des chansons (France, 1965)
10 Los Bravos – La moto (Spain, 1967)

365 week 2

This week I returned to Chicago and got a cold AND it snowed, all of which made taking photos a little difficult! Photos will be much more varied than this/next week in the future. My first photo class will be this Friday, so I’m looking forward to learning from scratch! As before, these photos go up more or less day by day on Tumblr.


365 Week 1

Hello everyone! It’s been a while but (yet again) I have a plan and the motivation to post here more often so please keep an eye on your RSS feed! I’m finally going to be taking a photography class this semester so I’ve decided to supplement that with a 365 photo project. I’ve also made a tumblr to post these day by day, but I’ll be posting the week’s photos here as well, every Saturday. I’m looking forward to seeing how my ability and style change over the course of the year.


31 Octobre

Hello everyone! It’s been a long time but I’m back and working on a lot of content for this blog, including music. I was planning on starting up again later, but because today is Alex’s and my anniversary I decided to post a few of my favorite pictures of us. I’ve been less obsessive about taking pictures over the past year than I have been before, but if I ever get a chance for a nice and meaningful picture of the two of us, I will make Alex stand through a million timed photos to take it. Thanks to this I’ve ended up with a collection of some really lovely photos that I know I’ll always treasure. (Welcome to the sappiest post!!)

New Buffalo, MI
It turns out weekend “vacations” to midwestern beach towns in the middle of winter are quite affordable! This town was so small and uninhabited that when we were going to miss our train home, a police car actually kindly picked us up and drove us to the station.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
It was far too late in the year for any poppies to be left (I’m never in California in the spring!), but I’m really glad to have driven all the way out there just to have this photo alone. (more…)

I love you, Drum Machine

A couple weeks ago, while browsing everything for sale in my neighborhood on Craigslist, I came across a drum machine for what seemed like a very reasonable price. After 20 whole minutes of careful research, I texted the seller, and that night I walked home with a new friend! In France I tried messing around with programming drums, hoping I could start recording songs without having to find a new band, but it was far too difficult and I didn’t get past the most basic form of the verse of each song I attempted. What sealed my decision to get my Alesis SR-16 was that it was consistently reviewed as the perfect drum machine for people who don’t know about drums but still need percussion for writing and performing. Sure enough, as soon as I plugged it in I was able to find suitable patterns and begin recording.

I put puffy kitten stickers on it because I’m an adult.

I’ve named it Kyohei, after my all-time favorite pop songwriter and composer Mr. Tsutsumi, as it is now my little songwriting buddy. I feel a rather ridiculous fondness for this machine after so little time, but that’s because it’s given me the ability to do something I love again.

Of course, when you give a Hana a drum machine.. (more…)

Recreating Paris, Pt. I: Trader Joe’s

Unsurprisingly, one of the things I miss most about Paris is the food. Putting aside the fresh bread and pastries on every other corner, all the restaurants I could never afford, and the amazing street food, even the supermarkets were full of delicious food for little money. They had entire cheese aisles, and even generic-brand quiche and crème brulée. While I’ll never expect to find bolognaise-flavored chips or $3 sorbet+meringue cake in the US, I have been hoping to find some other things here, and have been surprised to find that there are a number of them (for a great price) at Trader Joe’s.

It is shocking what stores will try to charge for any French cheese—I’ve seen brie that would go for little over 1€ at Monoprix go for $5 here. So while cheese was a necessary purchase every trip to the store in France, it’s a treat to be able to splurge on it in the US. (more…)

The Bird that Escaped

Somehow I never tried to draw in Photoshop until the beginning of this year. I played with some Corel program once, but it was back when I had to use a restricted version of AOL to do anything online, which needless to say was a very long time ago. This was my first attempt at drawing something in Photoshop, and while it’s not a style I’ve continued with I still think it’s cute. I tried make it look like colored pencils on brightly-colored construction paper.

I was listening to Chara’s 2001 album Madrigal on repeat when I drew this, and my drawing is a bit of a failed attempt to illustrate the song “kanashimi to bi” (sadness and beauty):

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Since this I’ve figured out quite a bit more of what Photoshop is capable of outside of image manipulation and I’m looking forward to getting better at using it.

How I came to love Paris


There will be many posts about Paris on this blog, but I thought the first should be about how I came to love the city in the first place, as I certainly didn’t start out that way. I promise that very few posts will be this lengthy!



Several months ago, I began planning out this blog as a way to motivate myself to work on my own projects and share them with people. Of course I ran into a million small problems that delayed me week after week, but I’ve finally pulled it together and am happy to welcome you to Initials HH. The site isn’t quite complete but please bear with my continuing to add and tweak things. If you are a friend of mine (or not!) please let me know if I’ve neglected to link your site, I haven’t been keeping up with bookmarks and that section is looking rather empty at the moment

For those of you wondering, this is what I’m talking about:

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