The trials of the enigmatic Nikon FM continue. It became apparent that the film inside the camera had ripped. My sister diagnosed this in a dark closet. She determined the chances that all the pictures would survive to be small. I called my mother – the photo queen – in desperation and she said she would salvage them; it’s her camera, after all, and she’s been dealing with roadblocks like these for thirty years. We returned to inside the closet, a wardrobe so dark I couldn’t see my hand inches away from my face. She declared the problem solved, I cheered, we exited, and opened the camera in the light. It turned out that the film had completely detached from its casing, and the top layers of the negatives were now destroyed. So we re-closeted ourselves and we wrapped up what was left of the film in a black garbage bag. The remains were taken to a professional photo store where they were developed, and I am happy to report that some of them survived! Hurrah! I then had the challenge of figuring out how to scan the prints on an old printer, a task that would have been insurmountable without my sister. Technology makes me dumb. The following shots are among the survivors and while they’re not perfect, I never expected this camera to be so exhilarating from click to result.

Beer-battered fish tacos with poblano slaw and chili aioli and a grilled lime.

Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream courtesy of Magnolia Bakery. Savory beats sweet any day, but I consider these tiny cakes the exception to the rule.

INCEPTION