Missed Connections 2

Second in my series of illustrations of Missed Connections ads, originally placed in Craigslist. I just couldn't resist this one!

Photo Phriday

New Fangled Bloggery

I'm going away this weekend. I'll be in Northern New York, up the Hudson at the Mills/Norrie State Parks. It is the 2nd Annual Kid Flash Is Out Of School Camping Trip! Yay!

So... that means I can't post for the next few days. Sorry guys.

It DOESN'T however mean that I'll be breaking my (already broken) daily blogging pledge. Blogger has introduced "Scheduled Posting" that allows you to create posts in advance, post date them and save them. Then when the time stamp you chose rolls around the posts appear on the regular feeds. I haven't tried it yet, but I've created 3 posts, enough to cover the weekend, and set them to appear on the sight at 5 PM each day. Hopefully they will actually appear when they should. If so, I'll be blogging by remote control, from the woods up upstate NY. If they don't... well, I apologize in advance, and I'll post them when I get back. Here's hoping that isn't the case. Have a great weekend guys, I know I will!

The Move

Well, The Move, (yes it's capitalized) now has an offical date: June 19th. At 9am two men and a truck are showing up at my apartment and whisking all my worldly goods uptown. I've never used movers before, I've always just carried my own stuff, but Kid Flash's apt is a 5th floor walk-up, (for starters) and I just didn't see myself handling that very well. So I hired someone.

The process was pretty painless, I got recommendations from friends, and made some contacts over the web. The place I am using had a simple questionnaire online that I filled out. The addresses of the two places, how many flights of stairs, and approximation of what is being moved, etc. I filled that out and received a prompt reply asking me to clarify some things, like "How big is your TV?" "Will there be plants or mirrors?" "You say you have a drafting table, what are the dimensions of the top?" I answered and received another round of follow-ups. After about 5 turns at that we were both satisfied that the other understood the full extent of the move, what was to be moved, how it was to be boxed up (nothing over 35lbs) etc. etc. All the back and forth actually made me feel really secure. (I just hope I estimated my number of boxes correctly!) In the end, my quote was about half of what I was expecting, and what I had budgeted: $260. Not bad at all, huh? Of course I am not moving any really large furniture, I'm selling my bed, loaning my kitchen table to Mark for a while, leaving behind the sofa, most of what I'm taking consists of books and clothes and art supplies.

It is beginning to feel more real though. The cat is there, soon enough my things will be too.

Sculpture Garden

Behind the Brooklyn Museum of Art, between it and the Brooklyn Botanicals there is a large fenced in area that contains this weird collection of sculptural bits and bobs. It is a collection of busts, broken statues, pieces of old building facades, column capitals, and one full sized sculpture of an Indian on a horse. I have no idea why it's there, where all these pieces came from, why they have been left out in the elements to crumble. The palettes that the pieces sit on have rotted and are turning to dust, cracked under the weight of broken bits of marble and bronze. The fence has a rusted lock, and dead vines growing on it. It's a powerful metaphor... for something.

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Some random shots from our day at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens yesterday. Enjoy. I hope everyone had a good day off, and did something fun. Back with more content tomorrow, including hopefully a "Missed Connection."

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Tomorrow will most likely be spent doing some cleaning and preparing to move, we went to a barbecue today, and spent some time exploring the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, so I guess that was our M Day celebration.

The cats continue their steady avoidance of one another. Ted seems to have taken custody of the living room, and Sarah has custody of the bedroom. Though they both slept on the bedroom floor last night just on opposite sides of the bed.

Maybe they'll come together someday.

I'm all tuckered out from todays explorations, so it's off to bed for me. See you tomorrow!

Ted, Sarah. Sarah, Ted.

I have roughly a month until the momentous move up town to KF's apartment. In the last few days we discovered Sarah, that the cat KF has been cat-sitting (just like last year) was probably going to be staying on as a permanent feature. This was going to be an issue.

Sarah is an older cat, probably 5 or 6, and very very set in her ways. She also doesn't deal well with change. When her owner brought her for this last stay she spent a week or two under the bed, unwilling to come out and face the world even though she should have been familiar with the space, and the situation. Even minor changes like moving a piece of furniture is not very well received. She's been a single cat her whole life and isn't completely socialized we think.

Ted on the other hand is young, frisky, rambunctious, and pretty accepting of his situation. When we first picked him up off the streets and brought him into my apartment he blended in without really batting an eye. He was just happy to be somewhere warm and fed.

So, knowing that there were bigger changes ahead, furniture being rearranged, new furniture being brought in we decided that it might be a good idea to bring Ted over early since he was likely going to be the biggest and hardest issue for Sarah to overcome. We expected the worst frankly. Sarah can be a vocal cat, and is occasionally aggressive about letting you know what she wants. We were expecting either a big fight, or Sarah running and hiding under the bed for the next month.

What we've actually gotten has been a sort of uncomfortable Cold War. The two of them have done a little dance all day circling the perimeters of rooms watching each other and intermittently letting out a half hearted hiss, but nothing dramatic. Sarah has simply watched from a distant corner or from behind a chair or a door while Ted has sniffed and explored his new home, under the beds, in the cabinets, behind all the furniture, that sort of thing. Ted, as expected has settled in and just wants to know where all the new play spots are. Sarah is a bit more apprehensive about the whole thing.

I will freely admit that Ted has made some... passive aggressive moves. Sitting in her litter box, (thankfully just cleaned) while she stared at him from across the floor and growled. But so far no big momentous clash between the two.

We've set up two litter boxes for now, (though someday we'd prefer to get down to just one,) and we don't really know how the food situation is going to work, they are both used to being "grazers" just having a serving put out that they can nibble on all day. Whether they will eat out of the same bowl has yet to be determined.

Photo Phriday

Geek Out!

Check out who commented on my Missed Connection post over at flickr!! In case that name means nothing to you (and I assume that a good portion of you aren't geeky enough for it to mean anything) check out this, and this, and maybe this.


Subway Sketches Part CCXIV

Some Things

Some things that annoyed me perhaps overly much today:

The cashier at my grocery insists on completing my transaction for me. I understand that there is a language barrier (she speaks primarily Spanish) and I understand that most of your customers probably still find this "new fangled" debit card thing hard to understand, but I don't need you reaching around the keypad and pressing buttons for me. Every cashier at this place does it, no matter the client, but for some reason it really got under my skin today.

I hate the phrase "Have a good one." It's sloppy, lazy, and just unattractively phrased. It makes the speaker seem uneducated, at least in my mind. My bank teller said it to me as I left this afternoon, and it grated my last nerve.

No one in New York City needs an umbrella larger than the width of their own shoulders. Hell, you can practically walk across town just under the scaffoldings and only ever get wet when you cross streets. I was poked in bot the temple and the neck by wayward umbrellas this afternoon, from careless umbrella owners. One woman had an umbrella so wide that she had to lower it to fit under a scaffold. It was literally too large for her to pass otherwise. Why do you need that?! To make it extra annoying it was barely drizzling at the time that I saw her.

When you are traveling the wrong way up a set of stairs when exiting the subway don't glare and huff at me because I am trying to go down the stairs in the proper direction. It's just like driving, travel in the right lane. That train that you just got out of? I'd love to get on it, and I probably could've if you hadn't been in my way on the stairs.

Sorry, I'm just annoyed and grumpy today and a lot of people got on my nerves as I went through my day.

Missed Connections

I teased it a few times towards the beginning of the year, linking to the Missed Connections at Craigslist (always worth a read, if just for the fun of it). For those of you who aren't familiar, the idea runs like this: I see you on the subway/in the street/at a cafe and I think you are cute/we made a connection/I wanna hump you... so I make a post at Craigslist in the blind hope that you, or someone who knows you sees it and we can eventually make an actual connection. It appeals to my romantic nature. It also appeals to my storytelling impulses, so I've decided that periodically, (I'd like to say weekly, but we all know how well I do with promises like that) I plan to illustrate my favorite Missed Connection of the week. So here is the inaugural edition:

Summer Preview

Once again it is shaping up to be a busy summer. Here's what I know for sure is happening:
•Moving in with Kid Flash
•Sister visiting NYC
•Camping at Mills-Norrie
East Coast Derby Extravaganza
•My Off-Broadway show
•A camping trip to Fire Island
•A trip to SC to do some family research

and that's really just June and July!

Some things I'd like to happen:
•A week long hike/camping trip in the Catskills
•A visit by my mom to this area

Subway Sketches Part CCXIII

Friday is for Photos

Have a great weekend everyone! I have no idea how I'll be occupying myself, I thought I had strike on Sunday but I found out today that they have moved strike to Tuesday because they have a huge volunteer force coming in. So, I'm out of strike, and out of something to do... oh well, something will come up!


I think all of this job angst may have been made worse this week because I was working outside the office on a theatrical piece. Not my own, but still enough to remind me of what I'm missing.

On the plus side though I have been asked to design costumes for an Off-Broadway piece that is coming up in July, so maybe my outlook will get a bit better.

I promise I'll get off this topic and post something worth reading and/or looking at soon.

Still Itching

Continuing my ruminations on my job life, with some comment follow-ups...

"Can you apply for the stunning job and resign the 9-5 only if you need to?"

Yes. Which actually will probably be the plan. I sort of put feelers out about that, very delicately. I may even be able to take a hiatus, or ask to be dropped down to a freelance status again, only called on if there's a project. Those are all possibilities.

"What would the 9-5 boss offer so you'd stay?"

I don't know that there would be a counter offer. Maybe there would but I don't feel... vital... enough for anything like that.

"I love my freedom but would kill for health insurance..."

Well, part of the plan in taking this job was to save enough to join the union, so that would be taken care of if I did.

This is going to go on for a while. My problems are small, the possibilities are longshots at the moment... but my malaise continues.


One year into my 9 to 5 life... and to be honest it's chaffing a bit. I've turned down some damned good work lately, and I hear rumors of some really exciting, stunning work coming up soon that I would likely be considered for if I was available. Can I give up comfort and peace for my semi-rocky freelance life again?

12 of 12 May

May 12th. 12 photos to document the 12th day of the month. Let's go!

Getting ready to leave the house, syncing up those Sunday podcasts (you know which ones), changing the batteries in the camera, grab the cell, and out the door!

Spotted this weird little tree/plant/thing on the way to work. It looks like a small fichus, about 3 feet tall, but has these daisy things growing out of it. Odd, but pretty.

Just beside my office building I grabbed breakfast, and snapped this while I waited in line. It was at this point that I realized that for the first time in months I had a theme building. I used to do themed photos in addition to the standard 12, but that fell away a few months back. Today it returned, everyone say hello to the theme!

At work. Morning was this project, a design for some French bank that is merging with a US firm and opening branches here. Another corporate tea party.

Lunch! Shrimp burrito with limes on the side. I put more of the lime in my drink than I did the burrito, but they were still tasty. Accompanied by a little light reading.

The view off the fire escape from work. Three weeks ago those vines were nothing more than dead branches. In the fall they turn a brilliant red.

After lunch I switched projects and headed down to Chinatown. The next few days I'm baby sitting a theatre project and I needed a few yards of fabric for the project.

The show is on a tight budget (of course, what theatre isn't?) so headed to the cheapest place I knew. 4 yards of black satin, $5 a yard. (Obviously not from this pile, this is the ripstop nylon, but it fit my theme better.)

On the way up the street to the theatre. I checked in on the show on Friday and Sunday as well, and this bike has been in exactly the same place since at least Friday. What do you want to bet that it'll still be there tomorrow?

At the theatre. These are the "cigar boxes" or road cases that the shop that built the show sent down. It contains anything that might be needed for the run of the show, or for the strike when it's all over. The shop will come back and retrieve the box, and the set pieces, and use the tools inside for the strike.

Dinner prep. Fiddle Head ferns, and baby yellow squash. I sautéed them in a little olive oil with red pepper flakes and then tossed them with egg noodles and parmesan. Tasty!

Ted gets a little brushing while I watch TV before bed. And that's my day!

Did you spot the theme? I admit that the first one might be difficult because the screen on my iPod blew out in the photo... but it's there.

To see the 12 of 12 from the other participants check Chad Darnell's blog here.

Derby Season Opens!

Derby season officially opened last night, coincidentally the game was between the two teams that I have left in my chibi artwork, the Manhattan Mayhem and the Queens of Pain. Queens was the season champs in both 2005 and 2006 and they barely missed being champs in 2008, so obviously a strong team. Manhattan is... well... not. They are the clear underdogs of the league and going into the draft for this season they were also the team with the fewest players. So this game was not only mismatched in terms of past performance, but Manhattan is basically a team of rookies at his point, with more new players than veterans. They have been skating together as a team for a bit more than a month. But I had hopes.

Hopes that were futile it turns out. Manhattan had a strong showing in the first 15 minutes of the game, managing to keep a tight score behind Queens. In a game that can score up to 15 points during a 2 minute jam they were within 9 points at the 20 minute mark. And then it all went wrong. The team fell apart. Several of their players spent practically the rest of the game in the penalty box, and Queens just kept pulling further and further ahead until the won the game with 152 points to Manhattan's 71.

But still... it's derby season!! And with some practice I think Manhattan might actually have a team worth fielding this season. Two of their players are transfers from other leagues, and several of the new girls really show promise, they were just really really raw.

I know several of you local types have expressed interest in attending bouts in the past. The next game is June 7, so get in touch if you want to go!

Go, Speed!

For those of you, like me, who will be headed to see Speed Racer sometime in the near future... a bit of trivia that I realized today.

In the original Japanese cartoon Speed's name is "Go." Pretty straight forward.

The car is still called the Mach 5 in Japan. But Japanese for 5? Go! So both Speed and the car are named Go. Fun, huh?

It's Coming Back!!

My favorite reality show of all time.

The show that introduced me (and the world) to Anderson Cooper (he isn't involved this time, alas.)

The show I literally waited a year for them to complete the second season of.

The show that I thought they had ruined forever with two very ill-advised "celebrity" editions.

The Mole is back. I'm not sure ABC could have made me much happier.

Now and Then

Finally, an art meme I can get behind! Dave Valeza seems to have unintentionally started a meme, asking people to draw themselves as teens, and as adults to compare. Here is my own take on this idea, me at 16, and at 36. You can see all of the others who have participated at Dave's site here.

Cry-Baby: A Review

Thanks to the generosity of my roommate, (not Mark, he's rarely generous) and the fact that the production is taking and they were papering the hell out of the house tonight I saw Cry-Baby, John Waters latest movie turned Broadway musical.

Over all... okay. Not great, but not terrible. I think my friend Kevin said it best, if this had been an off-Broadway show we would have thought it was great and loved the whole experience. As a Broadway show... it was lacking.

The show wanted to be an over the top parody of 50's morales and attitudes. The "Squares" being perfectly up front and content in their racism and xenophobia. The "Drapers" being perfectly contented in their wrong-side-of-the-tracks lives, pregnant teens, seedy riverbank rendezvous and all.

Somehow they it never went far enough over the top.

For attitude I would compare it to "The Great Trailer Park Musical." It has similar types and themes, but Trailer Park knew where that cusp was and gladly ran it over as they passed by. For parody and camp value I would compare it to "Evil Dead," but there again, Evil Dead plowed beyond any sense of propriety and reveled in its state as something beyond either a musical parody or a parody of the movie. Cry-Baby has the elements, a character in an iron lung, songs about French kissing, a supporting cast that includes a woman with an ass J-Lo would be jealous of, a lunatic, and Harriet Harris. But they kept pulling their punches.

The characters who knew how to play the show like Alli Mauzy who played the aforementioned lunatic Lenore, and Carly Jibson who played the pregnant Pepper (Rikki Lake's role in the movie) pushed their characters to heights (or perhaps depths) that demanded attention. Mauzy in particular was so commanding that even as a background player in dance scenes I was more interested in watching what she was doing than the leads. The rest, sadly including the leads, would get just to the edge of finding what they needed and fall back. I think the biggest example of this was the final number. In a scene that includes 5 characters in star spangled outfits, a man on stilts, a woman in a pie costume, and a woman dressed a giant pack of Lucky Strikes... I expected more. Elizabeth Stanley's patriotic dress (in the picture above) was actually tamer than several of the outfits that she had previously worn in the show, and that sums up the whole show, at the point where they could have been most outrageous, they chose a milder route.

Scenically Scott Pask, whose sets I seem to review a lot, (he designed both Lt. of Inishmoore, and Wedding Singer) did a fine job. The sets were completely passable, though there was nothing splashy or groundbreaking (hmm... same thing I said about Wedding Singer...). The attention to detail was lovely, and there were some really great moments, like the bridal shop, and the license plate factory. But not much that wowed me. Not that I think about it it was actually very similar to Wedding singer, a couple of the set pieces could have been reused (the heroines houses and the suburbia groundrows for instance) with little difficulty.

If anything I'd say go for the dancing. There are some great dance numbers, though someone needs to tell Charlie Sutton that he can take his hand off his crotch every once in a while. Pawing at your balls for the whole show is a poor substitution for characterization.

Wisteria Castle

Subway Sketches Part CCXII

Going Swimmingly

Tonight I had a serious look at what it would take for me to get swimming lessons.

Let's begin with this: it would be easier for me to get swimming lessons in New York City if I was 5 or under. Or a dog. I found dozens of places that were willing to take my kids or my pets swimming, but very few that would teach me. Of the ones I found that offered lessons to adults, almost all of them had a requirement that you be comfortable floating face down. If I could do that I wouldn't be on this quest now would I? A few places would teach me with private lessons, at a rate of $360 for three hour long sessions.

The YMCA has classes, but YMCA classes were part of what built this fear up in me the first time. The City Parks system has swim classes, but nothing listed seems to be for beginner adults. Last summer when I toyed with the notion of doing this I found a place that seemed perfect but their website is gone, and I don't see any evidence of where they went. Are private lessons what I need? I see lots of listings for private people, ex-Olympic swimmers, competitive swimmers, Marines, lifeguards, etc. who do private lessons. Is this the best way for me to pursue this?

This is all very discouraging.

I'll Be Brief

It's May.

It was below 50 for most of the day today.

I can't take it.

I had to wear a sweater to work.

Can it be warm please?!


What Was That?

Oh, that was my respect whizzing past.

Ben Stein, who spent a long time positioning himself as the smartest man in America is now touting for Intelligent Design (it irks me that I even have to capitalize that) and in an interview today said that "science leads you to killing people." (Read about it here, if you want to see the actual interview there's a link at that page, it was on TBN.) He was being interviewed to promote his new movie Expelled which is supposed to be a documentary about how scientists who study Intelligent Design are being persecuted. (There's a great debunking of basically every word in the movie here.) He was talking of course about the Nazis and their scientists, and the atrocities they committed. So by Godwin's Law the IDers have now officially lost the argument.

Science doesn't lead you to killing Ben. Lack of compassion leads you to killing.

But a lack of science leads you to superstition, and superstition often leads you to killing.

Like the 5 guys in Benin, Africa who were beaten to death for using sorcery to steal other men's penises. (Read this about the deaths and this about a current, new outbreak of the panic in Congo, if you don't believe me.) They'll tell you all about what superstition gets you.