July is Art Month

When I fall off the horse I fall hard, so I have to get back on just as spectacularly. That's why I am declaring July as Art month. For the next month not only will I get back to posting every day but I will post artwork everyday. Some will be work related, some will be the minor backlog of subway sketches, some will be random doodles from meetings and sketchbooks, but it will be an art filled month. There will still be 12 of 12 photos, and Photo Phridays, after all, photography is art too, but every other day you can expect something I've drawn to be posted. So, I'll see you back here tomorrow for Day 1 of Art Month! It's gonna be good.

Un-Boxing Day

Two straight days of unpacking and putting away and we're nearly through. The apartment is actually in a livable condition again, 6 of 10 boxes of books are unpacked, and 8 of 10 boxes of other odds and ends. We are much much closer to actually having an apartment again. The bulk of what remains is just cleaning and sorting, and putting away. There are a few stray items that I am having trouble finding homes for, and there were a few disputed items that had to be discussed, but in the end we've come together pretty easily. Tonight was the first night that we were able to relax on our new sofa, and actually watch a dvd without enormous piles of cardboard, etc in the way. It's nice to be home finally.

Photo Phriday

Where's That Horse?

Wow. When I fall out of the saddle, I do it HARD, huh? Sorry about that, I'll do my best to get things moving again here before I get too terribly far behind in my year long promise. The move just took a huge chunk of my life away, and the day after that I went away for a three day marathon of roller derby, and then when I got back to the city I had to deal with all these... boxes... and furniture to put together, and... stuff. Not a lot of which got dealt with frankly. All of the furniture has finally been assembled, minus my desk, which has been partially done, but since it is a Frankenstein (Ikea-stein?) of several components I can't complete it until it is in place, which is currently occupied by other belongings. But we are getting closer. The old sofa is gone, there is a bookcase leaving tonight (hopefully) and we have posted several other things at Freecycle and in the Free section of Craigslist to try and get rid of them. We're already sick of boxes and cardboard and not being able to move in the apartment. Hopefully this weekend will be a big push to get past most of that though.

Ancestral Surprise

Meet John Joshua Beasley, and his wife Maggie and son Carleton. He is my great-great-grandfather. John was famous in his hometown in Georgia for having fathered 40 children over 50 years with only two different women. I found a newspaper article about him a few months ago, and mailed away for a photocopy. I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when it arrived to find that it contained a photograph! I had not expected an article from 1929 to have photos, and I hadn't seen this photo posted anywhere online.

Photo Phriday

The camera is in a box. The cable to get the pictures off the camera is also in a box. Probably a completely different box with my luck, so you'll have to settle for an old photo this week.

My move was accomplished in less than two hours. I am never moving without the aid of movers again. They were wonderful. They had everything in the truck in less than an hour, and up the stairs at the new place in just a bit more time than that. Now we just have to deal with the process of getting everything into place in the apartment... not to mention assembling all that Ikea furniture... someday we'll have it all worked out. For now though I'm in Philadelphia at the East Cost Roller Derby regionals.

A Few Random Thoughts

•Look... I know I'm neglecting you a bit. I missed posting yesterday, I haven't posted any art in two weeks... but life sucks and I'm busy. I'll be good later, I promise. I have a big announcement for July to hopefully make up for all this.

•35 pounds (my box packing limit) isn't really a lot. 35 pounds of books especially is only about 3/4 of a box. This sucks.

•I hate moving. I love the reason I'm moving, but I hate moving. I'm procrastinating especially hard on this one. I feel tempted just to abandon all my stuff and start over or something.

Mission Accomplished

We got into Ikea at 9:30, had breakfast, were on the floor shopping by 10. We bought a wardrobe, a couch plus slip cover, an armchair, a sideboard, a book case, components for a desk, 3 lamps, 6 pillows, 2 rugs, a colander, two counter top elements for the kitchen, a knife rack, a bowl, and a couple blankets... we spent... well, a lot, but not as much as you'd imagine probably. But now I'm tired because I just carried all that up 5 flights of stairs.

Battle Plans

We made a budget, we made an Excel spreadsheet of the high end and low end choices, we've written down the codes, we've arranged the options, secured transport, called in reinforcements. I think we're ready.

Tomorrow we go to Ikea for the big pre-move furniture quest.

Kid F;ash's apartment is sort of limited on closet space, so we need a wardrobe, and I need a work space that is a bit better than the cheap drafting table I've used since art school. But we've also priced lighting, a counter top for the kitchen, lots of shelving options... it's going to be a big trip, almost as much stuff as I'll be moving on Thursday. (Well... maybe not quite, but it seems that way.)

The internal re-arrangement has begun at KF's place, clearing out some furniture to make room for my stuff, or the new stuff. Shifting the rest so that I have a comfortable fit. It's all rather difficult to do in the 90ยบ+ heat. But things are taking shape. tomorrow is the first really big, "It's real now" moments. I'm looking forward to it.

Photo Phriday

My sister has been scanning family photos for me to add to my genealogy research. This is me, my great-Aunt Genny, and her daughter Stepheni, circa 1974.

I (Heart) Cully

I have NO IDEA why Amazon is selling these, but I feel that there should be many many of them purchased.

June 12 of 12: Macros

12th day! Time for some photos. This month I decided to do macros. We're examining our lives in minute detail, right? Might as well show it. To see the 12 of 12 from the other participants check Chad Darnell's blog here.

I actually started a bit late today, I woke up ro find dead batteries in my camera, so I had to wait until I was on the way to work to buy some replacements and swap out. I realized later that I could've pulled the batteries from my GPS, but it hadn't occurred to me this morning.

Work, work, work. Trying to design some plasma stands for an event that we're working on.

One of the office plants. I've been told that it started as one small plant some 10 years ago, and now has babies on basically every window sill in the office.

My pen cup at my desk. I keep a dozen or more markers and pens in there, but I rarely use anything other than my ballpoint, or my trusty 2H.

Buying lunch. I love the contrast between the two different types of baby greens.

Part of my afternoon snack.

On the way home I stopped off to try and buy a new alarm clock. Kid Flash doesn't always remember to reset the alarm, (he leaves the apartment about an hour before I get up most mornings) so I need one of those dual alarms. No one in the city seems to seel anything other than the basics, or alarms that are shaped like flowers, or that do fancy things like tell you the temperature and change colors. Where is the alarm clock district so I can get a decent clock?

Between apartments. I had to stop at the old place to pick up my card reader so that I could get at these pics. I move in with KF one week from today, but I've slept at the old apartment only twice in the last three weeks.

At KF's, tonight's task was to start shifting his furniture around to make room for me. That means moving books basically, lots and lots of books.

Oh, and a few creepy dolls. Those had to get moved too. I know they are childhood possessions, and I'd never ask him to part with them... but do they have to look at me like that?

Sarah's paw. The kitties are about 85% at this point. They are still separated at night, mainly because we have to close the door to air condition the room, and they don't quite get along well enough yet to live in a confined space for 8 hours with no problems. They are getting there though.

My bedtime snack, a white peach. I'm so glad that summer produce is starting to show up! I snapped this pic, and then started my uploads. Another month, another 12.

New York Mysteries

Today in Central Park I came across a small pavilion, a little roofed gazebo sort of structure that would seat about 4 people positioned on a lake. You can see it here, it is in the little known Wagner Cove area of the park. On one of the supports for the roof was a small plaque that read: "This structure was strategically placed to prevent George McGuggan from backing his horse into this sacred body of water." There is no date, and no further explanation, and I can't for the life of me find any other reference to Mr. McGuggan, or his horse, or why the city didn't want him backing it into the lake. Another of the city's mysteries.


It's not so bad that I want to stand in the street and lick ice with the other urchins, but it's pretty bad. I know I complained about the cold weather sticking around for so long, but this is a bit beyond the pale.

This evening the weather really stirred up though, 70 mph winds, and driving rain for about 15 minutes, with some big lightening strikes and thunder. 70 mph is officially Tropical Storm force wind, which frankly is a bit unsettling from the 5th floor of a building. Hopefully the storm will cool things off a bit for tomorrow. I've actually resorted to wearing short sleeves. In public! Which has always been a no-no for me. Somewhere long ago I decided that a properly dressed person never wore a shirt that featured both a button and a short sleeve (I still find this somewhat true). But it is much easier to deal with fashion dictates like that in the south where everything is over air conditioned and you only really deal with the heat in small bursts as you move from place to place. Living in an un-air conditioned apartment, and 15 minute walks between the subway and the office quickly change your mind.

By the way, if you are curious the picture came from the Library of Congress Photo Archives, and I spotted it on Shorpy. It was taken during a heatwave in 1911 NYC.

To iPhone or Not?

Everyone knew that the third generation iPhone was being announced today. A few people even thought that it might get released today as well. I swore that i wouldn't upgrade to the new iPhone unless it had 32 gigs of memory. My current iPod has 16 gigs and is basically full. To add photos, games, contacts, and the bigger operating system of the iPhone I'd have to give up some of my music. So when they announced that the two sizes will still be 8 and 16 gigs, I figured I'd wait it out until the next generation, and hope. And then they announced that it has GPS. That's two devices it could eliminate for me, a phone and a GPSr. That MIGHT be enough to sway me even with the smaller memory. The question is how the GPS functions. Is it a fully functional GPS, where I can enter coordinates to get to, or is it a car type GPS where I can only enter addresses for directions? When that question is answered I'll know whether or not I'll be upgrading. It sure is pretty, and tempting though.

First Peach

Summer has hit NYC. It's been in the high nineties all weekend, and everyone is sweating.

But I enjoyed it. I spent a good portion of both days in the park seeking two new super multi-geocaches. The heat felt good. It felt like home. I had my first summer peach. I had my first little spot of color from the sun. I had that first blissful moment of walking into an air conditioned building from the summer heat. I prefer it spring, I prefer it to be somewhere around 75 or 80... but I sure do like this better than winter.

Photo Phriday

Cat Update

Well, the kitties have calmed quite a bit. The program for the past two weeks has been Sarah isolated in the bedroom during the day while the house is empty, and at night when we sleep, and supervised visitations between them while we are at home. There has been very little hissing or spitting, most of it has been due to Ted's tendency to RUN everywhere he goes, and Sarah's dislike of seeing him running towards her. When he approaches slowly they can often get and stay withing 2 or three feet of each other for long periods with no problems.

Ted however can be a bit aggressive. The second he gets access to the bedroom he pees in her litter, which of course she hates, and I have to think that he knows running at her at full tilt isn't the best way to win her over. We have NO idea how to solve the litter box problem, short of changing it every night when we go to bed so that she has clean litter at all times. Once we stop isolating her however, we don't know what to do.

Ted has also gone back to "suckling" on clothing, though that has lessened as the weeks have gone on. I think he is just adjusting to a less social household. At the old apartment there was someone awake (amongst the three of us) pretty much 24 hours, here of course he doesn't have that, so he may just be lonely.

Sarah spends most of her time in corners and under furniture when they are both free, though she has at least started leaving the bedroom when she gets the chance. She used to sleep a lot in the living room chair, and on the sofa, but I haven't seen her in either place since he arrived.

We're hopeful that they are getting acclimated though, since as I said, there have been no major battles between them, and even the hissing has subsided. We'll see what happens in 14 more days when the MAJOR changes happen, all the furniture gets moved, changed, eliminated, etc. Almost everything in the apartment is changing in some way, so it should be an interesting time for ol'Sarah.

My Mental Jukebox

Have I ever discussed the ease with which a song gets stuck in my head? It's so simple, just a few notes, barely anything, a scrap of a song and I'll hum it for the next few hours. Every day when I return to the office from lunch I am singing whatever was playing in the deli. A few years ago, while on a trip, a friend noticed this and decided to test me. He whistled or hummed a few notes from a song to see how many repetitions, and how many notes it would take before I picked it up. His best result, 5 notes, and a single repetition. I'm ashamed to admit that the song was "Afternoon Delight."

But it doesn't end there. I also have a selection of songs that constantly shuffle through my brain, popping up whenever I go into "neutral." Here now, for your consideration, is a list of those songs:

1. The theme from Mario Brothers I have no idea why this is in there. I never really played the game very much. (Be sure to visit that link.)

2. Axel F Again, a mystery. I'm not a fan of the movies.

3. The Bear Went Over The Mountain This one has to be a childhood thing, but I don't remember being particularly attached to the song, or having it sung to me on a regular basis.

4. The 20th Century Fox Opening Credits I'd love someone to explain this one to me. There are no words, not even a melody per se, just some drums and trumpets, but there are days when it plays in an endless loop in my head.

5. Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton This one is a recent development. I've only been humming for a month or so, so it may not be a permanent addition to the repertoire. At least this one I understand.

6. Jingle Bells Year round, doesn't matter.

7. East Bound and Down, the theme from Smokey and the Bandit

8. Hippie Life from the musical Hair, it's been nearly 3 years since I worked on this show and I'm still singing it so I guess it's here to stay.

9. Midnight Train to Georgia Another understandable one

10. Amazing Grace a nice one for an avowed atheist, huh?

Anyone care to psychoanalyze me based on these songs?

8000 More Words on Camping

The Camping Post

Well, I'm back from my camping weekend. Kid Flash and I visited two state parks, one national park, hiked about 15 miles, visited two Victorian era mansions, found 7 geocaches, saw a dozen or more deers, rode out one big ugly storm, and had a great time. Unfortunately because I'm splitting time between two houses these days my camera is not here so I haven't uploaded photos yet. (Sad, I know. I'll get to it tomorrow.)

Neither of us had any idea of the history of the area and the houses that lined the Hudson until we discovered that there was one in the very park where we were staying. So when we ran short of hiking to be done on the weekend we visited the Vanderbilt Mansion at Hyde Park as well. This is the little brother to the Biltmore Estates that was in the area where I grew up. Biltmore being the largest house built by the Vanderbilt children, Hyde Park being the smallest. We've discussed going back to visit a few of the other estates, (there are 13 great estates on the Hudson, give or take) later in the summer.

Photos to follow!

Subway Sketches Part CCXV