Photo Phriday

Happy Halloween everybody!!

Lost and Found

Just a few minutes ago I went to my bag to retrieve my sketchbook so that I could scan the sketch that I did last night. It wasn't in the pocket in my bag that I thought it should be in. I recently bought a new bag and I haven't quite figured out where within it the sketchbook should live yet, so I dug around inside thinking that I must have stuck it in a different pocket the last time I had it out. No luck. I did notice that where I usually keep it was unzipped though... I looked around the area where I had placed the bag coming in tonight, thinking maybe it had fallen out. Still, no luck. I went back through my day. I hadn't sketched since last night. I hadn't taken it out of my bag at work today. There was no where it could be. I checked coat pockets, and a few other unlikely areas, just in case, but things were looking bleak. There were two possibilities at that point: It had fallen out of my bag in the office... or it was lost. I've been really good with my sketchbooks. I am currently on my fifth Moleskine and I've only lost one, that being lost when I lost my entire bag, not just the book. Just as I gave up though I picked up my phone to check the time and noticed a voicemail from a private number. I called and there was a young girl telling me that she had found my sketchbook on the train this morning, and wondering if she could meet me to return it. Moleskines have a section on the very first page to fill out contact info in case the book gets lost, and I have habitually filled them out, just in case. It seems that in this case it worked. It is too late to return her call now, but thankfully I at least know where it is, and that it is on the way back to me!

Sons of....

I warned you. I warned you about this THREE years ago!! It's in the low thirties tonight. It snowed in New Jersey and Upstate New York today. After running around in little more than a sweatshirt all weekend I had out the big coat today and desperately wished that I had my gloves. And what did I hear in the grocery store tonight? That's right... Santa Clause is Coming to Town. Sons of bitches did it to me again.

Holiday Horizon

It has begun! Today we kicked of our annual Thanksgiving planning group, complete with spreadsheet menus to keep track of who is cooking what, and to make sure that a proper balance of dishes is prepared. And that means that Christmas is just around the corner as well... last year by this time I had 80% of my shopping completed. This year of course I'd place that number at 10%. I just haven't been ans conscientious about making purchases this year. Last year whenever I saw something online that seemed like a good gift idea, I simply bought it. Often without even knowing who exactly it was for. I could work out that part later. Maybe I haven't been perusing the right blogs this year for gift ideas? Maybe I've just been busier than usual? Who knows. All I know is that I have to kick it into gear.

In Search Of

I hate them. You hate them. (Or you should.) I understand that they have been partially responsible for the destruction of America... but boy do I miss Wal-Mart sometimes.

Today's quest was approximately 10 to 15 pairs of identical shoes at somewhere south of $10 a pair. (I'm designing a shoe set in a shoestore.) In most of the rest of the world that would be as simple as walking into Wal-Mart and walking out again. In New York City that requires a great deal of hiking between stores, mostly in Harlem and Washington Heights, and digging around in discount stores that exist nowhere else in the world, like El Mundo and Conway. And in the end coming up empty. There is something to be said about the ubiquitous ease of Wal-Mart, not to mention the cleanliness, I really was afraid of seeing a rat or two in a few of these places.

The quest continues though... I also need a "Brannock Device" (TOTALLY just learned what the name for that thing was...) and one of those old fashioned credit card machines where you slide the thing to imprint the slip of paper... (which I have NO IDEA what the official name of might be.)

Photo Phriday

I had to go down to the children's theatre tonight for a meeting so I took a moment to snap a few pics of the Peter and the Wolf set that I completed early last month. Fun, huh?

Subway Sketches

Dead, Dead for a Ducat, Dead

Blogging from the display laptops at the Apple store to bring you this news: The previous laptop is officially dead. Seems the hard drive failed, so I am left with the choice of paying just about half the price of a new laptop to repair it, or buying a new one. I have some reservations about the new ones. I don't like the glossy glass screens for one (because they are glossy... and glass.) The old laptop had a good life, it would have been three years old at Christmas, a decent life span for any electronic device, and especially for one that I carry around on an almost daily basis. In all likelihood I will be walking out of here in 15 minutes or so with one of these.

In Memoriam Requiscat (maybe)

Saturday evening I sat down to make my blog post. I had iTunes open syncing my iPod, and the latest episode of Amazing Race Asia was playing on youtube... and the screen froze. Maybe I was doing too many things at once... happens occasionally, I let the computer rest for a few minutes to try and catch up, but 10 minutes later... no dice. Still frozen. So I forced a reboot.

When the computer came back up I got a grey screen with a flashing question mark in the middle. After a few minutes of panic I logged online on Kid Flash's computer and after a quick google search discovered that this is the Mac equivalent of the Blue Screen Of Death. NOT good.

I tried a few of the suggestions at the help forums at, ("zapping" the PRAM, booting from CD) but from everything that I can determine it looks like my hard drive has failed. I have an appointment at the Genius Bar tomorrow to determine whether or not this is the case. If so, I am left with the choice of repairing the computer or buying a new one.

Ironically just after Mac released their new laptops last week KF and I had had a conversation wherein I extolled the virtues of new laptops and wondered aloud whether or not I could justify the expense of buying a new one. That was about 48 hours before my crash. I guess I'll find out tomorrow whether or not I'll be pulling some of my money out of savings.

Photo Phriday:Red

Compare this to the photo from my 12 of 12 from May:

In a few more weeks it will just be dead dormant vines dangling from the building.

Subway Sketches

I Need to Relax

I need some suggestions on where to focus my mental energies after Nov. 4. Assuming that the vote goes that way I hope it does, the 3 to 4 hours a day I spend obsessing over politics is going to need to be shifted... somewhere... I'm open to suggestions.

Steel Magnolias

Things That Made Me Happy Today

That I now have a 4" Ultraman figurine on my desk, thanks to my trip to Toy Tokyo yesterday.

Two Boots Pizza's jalapeno pesto.

The Gotham Girls winning the Eastern Regional Championships and confirming their spot in Nationals once again.

A glorious fall day that left me really wanting to be outside, (rather than at my desk for nearly 12 hours which is what happened.) Lunch on the fire escape was a good substitute though.

The addition of Stewart's Key Lime Soda to the cooler at my local deli.

Dreams of the possible new Mac items being announced tomorrow.

October 12 of 12

It's that time of month again, to participate in Chad Darnell's 12 of 12 project. To see the other participants go here.

About a year ago when I joined the forums at Podcacher I was surprised to find a community of people there who participated in the 12 of 12, but who didn't cross post their shots to Chad's blog. Since then I've been posting in both places. This month the hosts of the Podcacher podcast, Sonny and Sandy, set all of us a challenge, not only to participate but to set a theme for ourselves. Not a problem, I've done that before, and I knew instantly what I wanted to do.

All of my shots this month are taken with a technique called "Through the Viewfinder." The idea here is simple, you use an antique camera, the type that has a large viewfinder, and build a rig so that you can focus on the image in the viewfinder and use that to take your photo. There is an entire group on flickr devoted to pictures taken this way.

I had an old Duaflex IV sitting around that used to belong to my grandmother, so this morning I built the rig and here are the results:

Ted did his best to imitate the tintype portraits of yore when he posed for my first shot with the rig. I didn't have the heart to tell him that Duaflexes were from the 1950's not the 1850's.

Kid Flash had left the house early this morning to run a half marathon on Staten Island. I vaguely recalled when he left that hadn't been able to find his wallet so he took my emergency Metrocard and all the money I had in my wallet so that he could get there and back. Around noon he called to inform me that the Metrocard had only had 50 cents on it, and that all the money I had had amounted to $3. With a $2 fare to get to Staten Island spent, he was now finished with the race, and stuck downtown with no wallet and no way to get home, so I set out to rescue him. After meeting him at the ferry terminal I decided to spend some time wandering around downtown seeing the sights. Here is the Brooklyn Bridge, you can see underneath it the art project "New York Waterfalls" that was installed earlier this year. It has been received with mixed reviews, and is being blamed for some serious environmental impact (the saltwater mist it creates has damaged lots of trees nearby.)

Three dresses outside a shop downtown.

While I was in the area I decided to grab a geocache that I had been neglecting (this one). It started at Trinity Church and wove around the financial district.

Also nearby was South Street Seaport where I took a few minutes to admire the old tallships that they have on display, as well as saying hello to some of the local wildlife.

A shot passing one of the myriad of parks downtown. I walked from the Battery all the way to City Hall, (plus the side trip to the Seaport) before deciding to hop a train for a while.

On the 6 train, not my normal line at all. Even with a 15" tall cardboard contraption, and my large camera, no one paid any attention to me at all.

I had originally been intending to go to the East Village today anyway, to the area around 1st Ave, and 1st Street. I needed some ingredients for a recipe that I had been wanting to cook, specifically fresh Curry leaves, and I needed an Indian grocery in order to find such. This place smelled like heaven when I entered, a million different spices and scents. Besides the curry leaves I grabbed several other spice mixes, some chai tea, a chutney... I really love the ethnic groceries that are available here.

Of course I couldn't be in this neighborhood and not stop in another of my favorite stores Toy Tokyo. They sell art toys, collectibles, and of course toys imported from Tokyo.

After that I walked over to Astor Place to catch a train back up towards my neighborhood.

The hallway in my building. I went up, dropped off my bags and goodies, then came back down with my recipe to buy ingredients.

On the way back to my building from the grocery store. The recipe turned out to be delicious by the way. I modified it a bit, cut down on the amount of chile, skipped that whole bit about the toasted rice flour... but still, and EXCELLENT choice for dinner, and one I'd highly recommend.

See you next month!

Photo Phriday

From my visit to Mystic Aquarium earlier this week, (while working at the opera in Connecticut,) this little guy was in the "bio-luminescent" tank.

Where's the Nearest Lenscrafter's?

Dear god... Sarah Palin wears the same glasses as me. Or at least from the same designer (Kazuo Kawasaki), since hers seem to be a bit... pointier at the corners of the lenses. Ugh...

Of course, I am naturally horrified that this photo of me has been published without the proper retouching and airbrushing. I mean, really... look how dark the circles under my eyes are, and you can see my pores! This is a clear slap in the face.

Smooth As Silk

Back in Connecticut one last time. The opera that I opened last week played twice at the first venue (yes, only twice) and has now moved to its second venue. We managed to get the set reassembled and in place with some minor alterations in just under 6 hours. Tomorrow I'll tech it in the new space, and then its back to the city and back to my regular life for a while. Getting back to this sorrt of lifestyle has been fun, if tiring. Making decisions and doing my own work. I could get used to it again, let me tell you. With the economy as it is I'm not sure that I'll actually be making that decision any time soon, but it was nice to play at it for a couple weeks, that's for sure.

Photo Phriday

Some Enorsements I Can Believe In

Get your here.

Things I've Learned

Things I learned this week:

•Lumber yards in Rhode Island inexplicably stock white pine in 8' or 16' 2x4 lengths, but not the 10' that I would have found useful. 8' was too short... 16' I couldn't transport.

•Once again lighting designers prove to be some of the single most infuriating people on the face of the planet. Three times in my life I have actually felt the real urge to do physical harm to someone. All three times it was a lighting designer.

•12' x 24' is not enough space to house a 27 piece orchestra, especially if it includes a tympani, a harp, and a 400 lb french horn player. 14' x 24' seems to work.

•The scope of work of a project will always swell to fill a budget. If I have $1000 I'll spend $1000. If I have $10,000 then I'll spend it, even if my initial estimates were less than half that. Something will happen... like maybe adding 2 extra feet to a platform meant to house an orchestra.

•Amtrak seats are utterly impossible to get comfortable enough to sleep in. I do however appreciate that they have outlets available by the seats.