Gift Guide

I have no idea why, but I am constantly told that I am difficult to buy gifts for. So in the spirit of making everyone's holidays a bit easier, I present:

The Cully Gift Buying Guide

Phoenix Super Hero Squad Figure
Toys R Us Exclusive Black Queen
Young Avengers Gift Pack
Marvel Girl
Marvel Girl (Chase Variant)
Marvel Select Phoenix
Black Knight

Art Books
Wayne Thibaud
James Jean
American Illustrators
J.C. Leyendecker
Joseph Cornell

Hiking/Geocaching Goodies
Windstopper Neck Gaiter
Waterproof Paper
Log Books (good stocking stuffer)
Catskills Trail Guides, Book 1 and 2
Appalachian Trail Guide, NY-NJ Edition
Catskills Trails Map Set
Catskill Mountain House Trail Guide

Clothing and Practical Stuff
Flannel Lined Jeans (34-34)
Fleece Hooded Jacket (L, Black)
Convertible Hiking Pants
Nikon d50n Camera Bag (not necessarily this one)
Professional grade hair clippers
Universal Clamp
Mini Corner Clamps
Splice Clamps
or instead of a bunch of clamps you can just get a gift certificate from Micro Mark

Random Miscellany

Bacon Scarf
Re-Sign Reclaimed Vinyl Billboard Material


Deviled Eggs
Pickle and Olive Platter
Cheese Platter
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Asparagus
Broccoli with Cashews
Green Bean Casserole
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Macaroni and Cheese
Cranberry Orange Sauce
Mushroom Nut Loaf
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Turkey and Gravy
Turkey in Mole Sauce
Turkey Saltimbocca
Homemade Yeast Rolls
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Creamy Pumpkin Pie
Apple Cranberry Nut Pie
Chocolate Mousse

That's what I had. What did you have?

November 12 of 12

It's the 12th, of course, so that means it's time for Chad Darnell's 12 of 12, 12 photos to document the 12th of each month. Go here to see the other participants.

I am working in a scene shop upstate this week, painting a set that my boss designed. I was supposed to be at Grand Central to get on the train at 7:38. Kid Flash and I woke up at 7:10. There was NO way that I was making it to Grand Central in time, instead I ran down to the street and grabbed a gypsy cab and hoofed it to the 125th St. stop on MetroNorth. The train wasn't scheduled to make it there until 7:49. I made it with about 7 minutes to spare.

On the platform waiting for my train. The 125th St. stop is an elevated platform so it provides a pretty nice city view.

An hour and a half later I'm 75 miles up the Hudson with a much different view. It's pretty overcast and dreary, but it's still pretty. The whole Hudson Valley is amazing, you can really see how it inspired a whole school of artists.

So this is what I worked on all day. The set is pretty dark, with just some washes of color the make the shapes pop, not the most challenging paint job, but still it got me out of the office and away from my computer for a day (a couple days... I'll be there all week) and that's a good thing.

The paint shop floor. This is pretty much all I saw all day, it doesn't really make for an exciting 12, but... one does what one can.

The scenery in the opposite direction as I wait for my 3:50 train back to NYC. The Hudson is behind me here.

Home again, home again. I could have gotten off at 125th, but I wanted the chance to show off one of my favorite places in the city. I hope it won't be viewed as unpatriotic or whatever... but I'll be happy when they finally decided to take that flag down and quit marring the view in Grand Central.

A little something different for my subway shot this month (I try to include subway shot every month.) The tunnels under Grand Central are some of the busiest for the subway performers. I counted 5 different sanctioned acts, and 2 unsanctioned ones. This is one of the sanctioned, you can tell by the banner behind her, provided by the city.

I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some supplies for dinner and I noticed this little guy fluttering around the frozen foods section. Why do birds come into buildings?

The beginnings of dinner. 3 ingredients, asparagus, egg noodles and Parmesan. Quick, easy and ready to go. (Well... I also add butter and salt and pepper... so 6 ingredients I guess...)

The finished product, in my favorite Fiestaware bowl.

And I'll sneak in a shot of my kitty Ted. He's recovered nicely from his snip-snip operation last Tuesday and is once again king of his tiny domain. Isn't his collar cute? He gained about 2 pounds in the month and a half since he's been here and he's getting pretty big.

Tomorrow it's bag upstate for some more painting... see you next month!

When The Revolution Comes...

First I read this. The PDF linked at that site, which is the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, could have saved itself a lot of ink and paper by just printing: "We're fucked." a couple dozen times.

Then I read this, which is ostensibly about zombies but is so realistically written in regards to how the public would react to a huge pandemic outbreak and shortages and general world war type conditions that the normal people in the book scared me much more than the zombies did.
Now... I'm all worried and I have this little thread of paranoid obsession wriggling around in my head that I can't quite get rid of.

I'm useless. If (when?) the economy collapses my marketable skills are sort of negligible, and everyone knows that the arts are the first things to get cut. I'm a reasonable builder, I suppose I could pretty easily take up carpentry, and I can roll paint with the best of them but in a depression what new building is going to be occurring? I know how to draft, and I suppose I could shift that knowledge towards architecture rather than theatre with a lot of work (the drafting styles are WILDLY different...) but again, to draft what? In the current political climate I don't see much chance of a CCC, or a WPA type policy being developed. This is how agoraphobia and panic attacks and general mental disorders start, isn't it?

Split Times

Kid Flash is running the Marathon this morning. It's a beautiful day for it. The sky is clear, it is cool but not cold. I don't run, but if I did this is the kind of day I'd want to do it on. I'm trying very hard not to worry about it. He's been training for months. I was with him when he ran 22 miles, just shy of the 26.2 of the actual marathon, and he was fine. But still... I worry. It's part of my mother's legacy I guess.

So since I worry, you get to worry with me. I am going to live blog the marathon, and you can get updates as frequently as I do. I signed up to get text messages sent to my phone every time he crosses a 5K marker. (The runners wear RFID chips in their shoes that trigger every 5K.) He's not a competitive runner, he set a goal for himself of 9 minute miles, which should place his finish at just under 4 hours. The start gun was 10:10. Let's see how he does!

10:49am, First Update:
Okay... the text messages don't really tell much. I need to see if I can get a map to post with this. Regardless, he has crossed the first 5K mark and he is averaging 8:58 a mile. That means, by my math at least, that he actually crossed the start line at 10:13.

11:54 Update:
Okay... I'll admit, I freaked out a little bit. About 11:45 I realized that I hadn't gotten an alert in a while. In that amount of time he should have crossed two more. I called around to everyone else and no one seems to be getting the text alerts, so the system has failed! Argh. But... I checked the website and crossed the 10K mark after 55:40, so... doing the math he did those miles in 8:50... (I think... there's lots of minute to decimal conversion going on here...) and then he crossed 15K at 1:23:34... so that one is at 9:02, again, I think.

12:23 Update:
Right. So I suck at math. The email versions of the Athlete Alerts are still working it seems, so I am having those forwarded to me now. At 10K he was pacing at 8:57, and at 15K he was also at 8:57. My boy is consistent!!

At 20K he's dropped time a bit, and is down to 9:08 a mile. This one I get by text message as well as email. A few minutes later at exactly 2:00:00 he crossed the halfway mark! His pace was still at 9:09, so a bit slower than start, but still consistent. At the other end of the race the competitive runners are finishing about now. The best time ever for the marathon is 2:07:43, and the best finisher last year was at 2:09:58.

He's dropped time a little bit again. 9:11 this time. But then, he's run more than a half marathon at this point, total 25K. It might include stops at a port-a-john, or anything, so no way to judge until he tells me. Still, in the end it's pretty consistent and within the range of what he wanted to do accomplish. I'm so proud of him!

1:23: At 30K he has been running for 2:50:56, nearly three hours, and he's 3/4s of the way through the race and his estimated finish time. He came in at 9:10 per mile this time, so he's picking up steam again.

1:41: 35K!! He's pacing at 9:11. Until now I'd gotten 3 of the 8 updates that I SHOULD have gotten at this point. After the most recent one though I've been getting all of the backlogged messages.

Almost there... at 40K or 24.85 miles hes been running for 3:50:42 and is currently pacing at 9:16. He only has a little over a mile to go so I expect that he will finish just at his desired time of 4:00. In 4 hours he'll have run a piece of all 5 NYC Burroughs, crossed 5 bridges, and run the length of Manhattan twice.

He's done! He finished the whole race in 4:03:42, exactly where he wanted to finish. He should be looking for a train about now to get home and probably collapse into a hot tub, so I'm off to take care of him. How much prouder could I be?!

Derby Poster

My final derby poster for this season. The finals came down to Queens, and the Bronx. Not my ideal line up. Queens was in some ways inevitable they have been the champions for two years running now, and in fact have only been defeated twice in the history of the league, but one of those defeats was by Bronx. So Bronx is my great white hope. I had really wanted to see Brooklyn vs. Queens, but in the end if there is anyone who can take Queens down it's going to be Bronx. I just hope they can keep their emotions in check long enough to make it happen.

The concept with the poster was to make an Art Deco panel like the ones at Rockefeller Center, or any of a dozen other Deco buildings here in the city. In the end it was decided that the pure gold was a bit flat so we added some color to it. Now I think it looks more like a period Olympic poster from the 30's. But hey... it still makes the point!