Hey I Made This

Story about fashion designer Bernadette PaolucciI learned one of the newer apps in the Adobe suite, Muse, over the holiday break.

Here’s the first story I made using it, part 1 of a story about fashion designer Bernadette Paolucci.

It utilizes that cool scrolling feature you’ve probably seen on websites a lot lately. It’s called parallax. As you scroll down on the page, different objects move in at different speeds.

This one combines photography, illustrations, and a story I wrote for an interview class at Penn last semester.


A Short Story

I do this every time. I buy way too many groceries at Trader Joe’s and struggle the whole way home.

“Getting salad stuff at tjs want anything else??” I texted my girlfriend from 30th Street Station on my way home from work.

“Smart water. And strawberries.”

It’s only a half mile. But when you’re carrying an empty stainless steel coffee Thermos, 15″ MacBook Air, 2 cans of chickpeas, 12 ounces of almonds, 3 apples, 2 bananas, 2 jars of marinara sauce, Smart Water for the girlfriend, a block of Parmesan cheese, and a respectable assortment of produce—it feels like a lot.

I struck up a conversation with the checkout girl. Part since I once had that same job, ringing up annoyed twentysomethings for an hour, and part because I was in an outgoing mood. And part because she was kind of cute.

We chatted about the usual stuff as I placed things into my beige canvas bag and she ran a green box of frozen veggie burgers past the sparkly red barcode beam. We discussed the quality of our days with the obligatory lack of depth; debated the amount of calories in a box of Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches; and avoided talking about the weather, a testament to our conversational aptitude.

Now regretting my Smart Water generosity and the two jars of marinara sauce, I grabbed a brown paper bag and tossed in a few things from the conveyor belt. Better to be balanced with two bags for the walk home, I figured. I’m not sure she saw me grab the extra bag.

When the receipt cut itself free from the tiny roll of paper, A., Mandy said with what I presume was earnest sincerity, “thanks for remembering to bring your own bag.” She then placed a yellow no. 2 pencil and little pink raffle ticket on the wooden counter. “You know what to do with this, I’m sure.”

I scribbled my first name and phone number on the ticket and grabbed the canvas bag,—then—while avoiding eye contact—the paper bag. I dropped the raffle ticket in the wood box with the little window on the front, wondering when she noticed I had taken the extra non-reusable bag, and if she was regretting any of her decisions.

Sea Wolf {album review}

I’ve been a fan of Sea Wolf since their daytrotter session at sxsw in 2007. I loved the bounce of their lazy guitar hooks and the way lead singer Alex Brown Church’s voice seemed to hover over the mix, dipping in and out of the composition. I listened to “You’re a Wolf” over and over again that spring.

That fall’s “Leaves in the River” {spotify} brought with it a much tighter sound, and this haunting lyrical syllogism:

Black dirt will stain your feet
And when you walk
You’ll leave black dirt in the street.

The band’s 2009 followup, “White Water White Bloom” {spotify}, is where I lost interest in the band. It had the sound of their earlier recordings but none of the soul. It came off as lifeless and over-produced.

Enter Sea Wolf’s third record, “Old World Romance,” released last Tuesday. This is Sea Wolf’s most coherent album to date. Tracks like the opening “Old Friend” feel measured and patient. The guitar assumes a role in the background, creating a more even sound. There’s the unique allure of the  Sea Wolf I heard during that raw daytrotter session; but it sounds like they grew into a more mature skin at the same time, in favor of a more lucid record—both sonically and conceptually.

“Old World Romance” is heavy on allusions to nature and the changing seasons. The fourth track, “Kasper,” takes us into summer:

I think the sky is gonna clear
because the hills turn green as summer nears
but a lightning storm, a lightning storm
can even happen when the air is warm
and I can hear that nothing
calling out to me.

The fifth track, “Blue Stockings,” is about getting to know someone, and the gradual breaking down of first impressions:

Open the window up
the one beside the armoire
I need some cool autumn air
in this baroque hotel room
while you put on your stockings
on the rocker by the mirror
“Put on a record,” you say
We’re both relieved at the idea

The seventh track, “Changing Seasons,” is about renewal and fresh starts:

Sometimes you feel it coming back
I feel that darkness at my back
That’s why I’m always rearranging
And looking forward for the seasons changing.

And the ninth track, “Miracle Cure,” one of my favorites, is a kind of triumph over the preceding hardships:

If I, if I can surround you in beautiful sounds, I will
If I, if I can repay you for coming to save me, I will
If I, if I can be who you want me to be, I will
If I, if I can surround you in beautiful sounds, I will…

Download the AAC file for “Mystery Cure” here:
Sea Wolf — “Miracle Cure” {aac}

And listen to the whole album below or pick it up from your favorite music source.


mom house

Chose creaky bench facing the sun; near

Flashy pink scooter.

Little boy runs up to the door; mumbles

Someone was chasing me!

Mom sticks her head out the window; asks


Older boy rushes up; less out of breath

Dashes inside.

Mom sticks head out the window; asks

Where is he?

Long moment passes; gray-haired dad

Enters the house.

Woman in thrifted sweater wanders; unsure of

Direction crosses the street.

Oak-brown Buick coasts by; POP maybe it

Ran over an inflated balloon.

Mom makes final pass; eyes me up on bench

Look away.

Depart bench; boys run and screech

In the house.

car pop