Subway Sketches

Photo Phriday

Tomorrow's menu will include: Fried Green Tomatoes and Okra, Heirloom Gazpacho, Sauteed Radishes and Sugar Peas, Roasted Beet and Avocado Salad, Roasted Eggplant with Honey, and Blackberry Basil Crumble. Who wants to come over for dinner?

Dinner Party

Kid Flash and I have decided that now that the apartment is finally starting to look like we live in it (rather than a bunch of gypsy vagabonds with cardboard boxes) we are going to have a few people over for dinner. I haven't settled the menu yet, but I am going to the farmer's market in the morning to see what I can find. I am REALLY looking forward to cooking. The late summer vegetables are in, when I previewed the market on Wednesday they had tons of heirloom tomatoes, (including some green ones!) eggplants, lots and lots of squash... I think it's going to be a great day. I am going to hit the market and let the muses of fresh shiny vegetables tell me what the menu is going to be and what wants to be cooked. Maybe it is even time to really get started on my quest to get some chow chow canned this summer...

Again with the Beeping

How is it that no one seems to be able to hear the battery warning on their smoke alarms? Last year I went through a period where it seemed like every alarm in the building needed a new battery (NYC started requiring CO2 alarms just recently so they had all been installed at the same time, and likely the batteries all started going at the same time...). About that same time someone whose apartment faces the alley had an alarm that began making its warning, and it continued for nearly 2 months. It drove me BATTY. I sincerely don't understand why the occupant of the apartment can't hear it. A loud, single beep that repeats every 60 seconds. How does that NOT make you crazy enough to track it down and fix it? I don't get it. Tonight, I heard a beep from the alley. It has repeated every 60 seconds since then. I have no idea which building or apartment it is coming from, but it has been happening for at least 5 hours now. We'll see how many days it lasts...

That's My Name

I've always thought that my name was fairly unique. I haven't met very many people who shared it. It was passed down to me from my father's side of the family, specifically from my grandmother (it was her middle name.) Tonight in my ongoing genealogy research I found another family member who also has my name. Oddly enough he was on my mother's side. He's a 1st cousin, three times removed, and would have been a contemporary to my great grandmother, but Eustice Cully Pope was related to me out there somewhere.

Set Sketch

Central Park Adventures

I was in Central Park today for a geocaching event, and as I walked through something caught my eye. On the south side of the path that I was on there was a wedding taking place. It looked very sweet, the bridesmaids were all wearing white summer dresses and fairy wings. As I walked closer I noticed a photographer on the north side of the path, with a little group of people crowded around him, but the closer I got the clearer it became that he wasn't involved with the wedding, and all of his attention was focused on a pedicab. When I passed I saw why, there in the cab, not 40' from where a wedding was taking place, was a completely nude woman, posing for the photographer. How they were getting away with this at 1 in the afternoon I'll never know, know will I understand why they chose that locale for the shots. The wedding guests didn't seem to have noticed though, and everyone seemed content to go about their days. New York City I guess, what else can I say?

Photo Phriday

Yesterday in Chinatown I passed a fruit vendor on the corner, just down the street from a theatre where I am working. On their display was something I never thought to see outside of the South: muscadines! Muscadines are a sort of wild grape that grows singularly on a vine (rather than in bunches). They grow wild all over the south, besides also being cultivated. They're delicious in a very wild sort of way, tasting much less cultivated than a grape.

Muscadines! Amazing... I guess you really can find just about anything in New York City, if you know where to look.

Subway Sketches

Poop Storm

You see that time stamp? I am headed home from work. Yes, at 5 a.m. While I was away last week a project that we are pitching sort of blew up and we have spent the last 24 hours trying to patch it and get it ready for tomorrow's pitch meeting. It's been a while since I was awake this long on a show that wasn't mine. So, sorry for the radio silence yesterday, I have a sketch I'll probably post today, but boy... I'm a bit tuckered.


I'm back in New York City. It was a highly successful trip. I accomplished just about everything that I intended to do while I was there.

The biggest thing was clearing all of the old comics and toys out of my mom's so that she can sell the house. I posted earlier that I had decided to get rid of all the toys, and I had long ago decided to get rid of the comics. I walked away from the deal $250 richer. I got about $10 per box of comics, about 3 cents a book. It was an incredibly easy sell. I hope the guy finds some useful stuff in there.

My next task was visiting some family and several sources of family information, the SC State Archives, a genealogy library in Columbia, the Newberry County Courthouse... I came away with several new pieces of information, including my great grandmother's maiden name, which no one in the family knew. (It was Griffin.) Lots of confirmations of information that I already had, and a few new mysteries, plus about 2oo photos that I scanned from my grandmother's collection, my great aunt, and my uncle. Lots of stuff to process and add to the family tree.

I did my first "extreme" geocache, a night cache that required more adventure than anything I've ever done in caching. My first "paddle cache" and my first 5-5 hiking cache. I also racked up the oldest cache I've ever found, one that has been out in the woods since 2001.

Kid Flash has met the whole family now, and gets along with and likes everyone, (not that I expected differently) but that's a huge relief.

All in all, a damn good trip.

Photo Phriday (Saturday?)

This morning we went geocaching in the SWAMP! Kid Flash had never seen terrain like this in person before, and other than my mom and her partner none of us had ever really kayaked before. It was awesome! I didn't feel out of control, or in danger, or in fear of the water at all. It was a good time.

A Simple Walk in the Woods

Sorry for the late post, just got back to my mom's after quite an adventure. Tonight we did a night geocache (sort of high tech treasure hunt with GPS units for those of you uninitiated). It involved about 3 or 4 miles of hiking, a 50' ladder, scaling a rock face, crossing a river on a zipline, solving multiple puzzles, and much much more... all at night. This cache is rated as the toughest level of cache available, a 5 out of a possible 5 on both difficulty and terrain, and you can't even start it until the sun goes down.

It was awesome!!

August: 12 of 12

The 12th of August is upon is, so it's time for the 12 of 12, a project conceived by Chad Darnell. To see all the participants, check here.

I had nearly 75 shots to choose from today, a first for me, so I'll skip ahead to about 10 o'clock. My sister and I visited the SC State Archives today, continuing my family research. This was one of the other researchers at work today. Isn't she great?

There is something just so... comfortable about a microfilm machine. Simple, functional, beautiful. I came out of the archives with nearly $25 worth of photocopies.

Do you think SC is proud of its flag? This display was in the gift shop of the Archives.

Now THIS is a meal... a Pimento Cheeseburger. Standard cheeseburger with Pimento Cheese rather than a slice of American. Delicious!!

After lunch we went by Riverbanks Zoo, one of my sister's favorite destinations. I loved this elephant with the straw on his head. Because of the naturally red clay in the dirt in SC all of the elephants' skin is stained red.

My sister at the penny smasher, she collects them and was very excited to see that this machine had been fixed since it was the only one in the zoo that she didn't have all of the pennies from.

Feeding goats at the petting zoo.

A tiny dinosaur outside the bird house. I was a bit amazed that they made such an overt display of Evolutionary science at the bird house. I would have thought that would be taboo around here.

One of the gorillas sat at the very front of their enclosure, watching what was going on in the "human display" I like to believe.

My sister's cat Hansa, isn't he a handsome fellow?

My uncle gave me a briefcase full of family research that he had collected before I started. I have to return it to him tomorrow so tonight I took it to Kinkos to copy the useful stuff out of that. Another $10 in copies.

Back at my sister's I settle in to catch up on Project Runway Australia that's Mark, my favorite player, who was unfortunately eliminated tonight.

Let It Go

I collect comics.

I collect toys.

Or rather... collected. When Marvel owned Toy Biz and was producing 30 or 40 action figures of their characters a year I bought them. All. I have been reading, and hording, comics since I was 12. Basically if it was published by Marvel between 1984 and 1998 I bought it. The result is that I have 25 long boxes of comics, and about 500 action figures in my childhood bedroom. For those of you that don't collect comics and so have no frame of reference a long box holds about 300-350 comics. I'll let you do the math.

One of the reasons I am in SC right now is to deal with that stuff. You see, my mom is selling the house, so it all has to go. I spent a great deal of time sorting, removing the toys that I obviously no longer needed or wanted. After an hour's worth of work I had sorted it into three piles: The stuff that my mom could throw into the yard sale she was having, the stuff that I wanted to find a way to store, and the stuff that I was taking back to NYC. (That was a REALLY small pile BTW.) I stared at it for about an hour, fondly remembering that great Rogue figure based on the Joe Mad costume (that she wore for about 3 issues... sigh) and trying to figure out who the heck some of them were (X-Men 2099? Mutant X? Where did this guy come from?!) But eventually it came to me... I don't need them. I WANT them. But I don't need them. In order to properly display these things I need to either gain a huge apartment (or a house in the suburbs) or to lose Kid Flash. I don't think that either is going to happen any time soon. So I decided to let them go. I knew going in the that comics were leaving my life, but somehow I figured that the toys would be staying. I'm going to see if I can sell them along with the comics, but if not... I'll send them to Goodwill.

Besides... I already pulled out the ones that I want.


One of the goals of my trip home was to attend a family reunion, for my paternal side of the family. It was for the descendants of great grandfather, who had 7 children, and it spread from there. The thing is, other than my great aunts and uncles... there were probably 100 people in the room whom I had never laid eyes one, not in 36 years of living. To begin with I'm not the greatest at small talk with strangers, but somehow knowing that I shared DNA with these particular strangers made it even more stressful.

So I did what any good Southern boy would do, and I focused on the food. There was quite an array of it, and it was all quite good, more cheese and vegetables and fried things than you can shake a stick at, but still good.

In the end the reunion went very smoothly, everyone was friendly, and I even cleared up a couple family mysteries for my genealogy quest, and added a few pieces of family gossip and lore to the stores.

Subway Sketches


My flight was supposed to leave at 4:55. It is just past 7. My camera is in my hand, but my cable to get the pics off is in my suitcase. The wireless is intermittent, I don't even know if I'll be able to post this. They just updated the flight board and it seems I won't be taking off until 7:55 now. The guy beside me is beginning to get angry, loudly proclaiming that he won't be boarding the plane until the last possible second, because, hey, JetBlue made him wait, so he is going to make them wait.

This may in fact be hell.

UPDATE: I did not in fact get this to post from the JFK waiting area (as you can tell.) I am now at my destination and publishing from there. We were delayed again on the tarmac because just after the Captain announced that we were second in line for take off a nitwit of a woman got up to use the bathroom. Because she wasn't in her seat and the flight attendant notified the Captain we had to pull out of the line up to take off, and by the time she was safely buckled in again we were much further back in the line. I DO love traveling.

Direct Lineage

My grandfather.
My father.

How I Spent The Weekend

This is Watch Hill, at the Fire Island National Seashore, a lovely beach side national park. An isolated part of the island only accessible by ferry, with camping, some great trails, and on this particular weekend about a bazillion mosquitoes... but still a good time. Oh, and some SUPERB people watching, care of the Long Island Boat People.

Photo Phriday