News and Notes

ITEM! Life sucks without a refrigerator. Ours is all busticated. Some time last week it gave up the ghost, and we didn't notice. It got progressively warmer, naturally, until we picked up on the problem. A few days later we were scrubbing out several hundred dollars of rotting food. Now we get to play the interminable game of New York Supers, and Apartment Management, which I've never really had much luck with.

ITEM! The Columbia Journalism Geocaching article is online! Check out my urban caching adventures.

ITEM! Buy Jay Brannan's new album if your musical taste, like mine, runs at all towards singer-songwriter folksy guitar stuff sung by hot boys. Cute, gay, musically gifted, and a hell of a lyricist.



Subway Sketch


Happy Birthday To Us!

Today was my 37th birthday. And this very post is the 1000th post to this blog. Coincidentally interesting, huh?

I had a weekend of birthday festivities, a dinner, a brunch, some shots at a bar after derby last night, lots of fun wishes and presents and joy from all around.

It's a good day to be us.

A Haiku

When two stars flash by
When the sound of wheels grows loud
Derby season starts

Photo Phriday

Saturday Afternoon at My House

Subway Sketch

A Thought

Okay, pretend for a minute that you are a clothing designer. God comes to you (we're pretending here...) and shows you his working sketches for humans and asks you to design clothes for them. With no preconceptions or cultural mores to worry about, and after researching their builds and biological functions... wouldn't you design skirts for men, and pants for women?

Subway Sketch


This is your one week warning. One week until my birthday. If you are unsure of what to do in such an event, please consult page 43, article 2 of your handbook. This warning will not reapeat.

That is all.


Can I bitch for a few minutes? Of course I can it's my blog after all.

My glasses broke last week. My $500 Sarah Palin look-a-like most expensive glasses I've ever owned broke. They broke in a way that can't be repaired (the wire that holds the nosepiece on the right snapped.) So I am left with the only possible options of going and buying a new pair or continuing to wear a pair that hurts my nose. Guess which one I picked?

Here's where the rant really starts... I'm kinda broke at the moment, I mean, not in trouble or anything, but with my job ending soon I sort of need to watch pennies a little closer, so I went to Lenscrafters to order a new pair of glasses. They have my prescription on file from when I bought sunglasses earlier this year, so it should have been a quick easy in and out. Now, I can walk into any mall in just about any city in the United States, order a pair of glasses, go see a movie, and then pick up my spanking new lenses and head home. In NYC due to space limitations and whatnot it isn't feasible for every Lenscrafters location to have their own lab, so that becomes less of a possibility. I picked a pair of frames that I liked and was told that it would be 2 to 3 weeks because they were rimless, and for some stupifying reason that takes longer. I passed them up, mainly because my glasses were digging into my face and I wanted to fix that. So I picked another pair of frames, this time with rims, and was told that they would be ready in 2 days. Not exactly the hour turn around I would have gotten in Dubuque, but acceptable I suppose.

Today is day 11. They called me today to tell me that I could picke them up. So I'm left with glasses that I only kinda like, a red mark on the right side of my nose, and a totally unapologetic sales staff, all because the stupid prices for retail floor space in New York mean that no one can afford to have a lab here. Some days I HATE my city.

Okay, sorry.


Photo Phriday: Phirst Day Of Spring

Yes And No

Scott Pilgrim- Yes.
Spiderman on Broadway- No.
Matt Giraud- No.
Kara DioGuardi- Yes.
Barry Allen- No.
Ghost Adventures- Yes.
JJ Abrams' Star Trek- Yes.
Dollhouse- No.
The Graveyard Book- Yes.
9 t0 5 on Broadway- Yes.
Better Off Ted- Hell, yes.

Subway Sketch


This weekend, in the middle of everything else that is happening at the moment I spent a morning and a chunk of the afternoon running around geocaching. Not really surprising, right? Except this time I was being video taped and interviewed about my experiences by two students from the Columbia University School of Journalism. It was an interesting afternoon, watching three complete newbies, (the journalists, plus a friend I had invited along) experience the concept of all of these little packages and treasures hidden all over the city. We found three caches, including one that was approved by the admin while we were out in the field, and placed one. A pretty thorough examination of the sport. The students are writing it up and editing the video now. It should post in a bout two weeks, right around my birthday. We'll see how they edit it all together, and what they make of it. I'll post it here as soon as I see it of course.

Derby Week: Gotham Girls

And the final image from this series! I hope you guys have enjoyed these.

Derby Week: Queens Of Pain

Derby Week: Manhattan Mayhem

Photo Phriday: Phat Cat

Ted sleeping in his favorite chair (you can tell from the amount of fuzz, right?) and one of his current favorite toys. He loves to bite it just behind the head and drag it around the house like a recent kill. (Back to derby girls tomorrow!)

12 of 12: March

Time to take a little break from Derby Week for my monthly participation in Chad Darnell's 12 of 12 project. The concept is simple, 12 photos, on the 12th to document your day. See the other participants by going here. I sometimes make things a bit more interesting for myself by assigning a theme to my photos, which I did this month as you'll see, let's get started!

My favorite boots, awaiting me as I get ready to head out for the day. I decided after taking this shot that I would do the whole day from the perspective of my boots. Basically at intervals through the day I just put the camera on the floor beside me, or the ground, and let it snap off a pic or two.

My hallway on the way downstairs. This building was built just after the turn of the century as an Irish tenement.

My subway platform, waiting for my morning ride.

A few hours later, at work. My desk is through that door on the right, where the grey recycling bin is.

The grocery store where I bought lunch today. They have a great hot food deli section and do a meat entree and two veggies for $7.95.

After work I head uptown to meet Mark....

where we go to see August of Osage County at the Music Box Theatre. Good show, a bit oddly acted in places and reaaallly long (a bit over 3 hours) but an enjoyable evening of theatre.

During the second intermission. I was in the mezz of course, but you can still catch a glimpse of the great 3 story set for the show.

After the show we made a brief turn through Times Square.

I accompanied Mark to his place so that we could trade comic books (no need for us to buy the same books twice just because we don't live together anymore.) After that I took a quick bus ride the rest of the way home.

A brief stop off at the local deli to get my favorite late night snack, a grilled cheese with tomato and some chocolate milk.

And then around the corner to my building to wrap up my day.

And that's it! See you all next month!

Derby Week: Brooklyn Bombshells

Derby Week: Bronx Gridlock

Derby Week: Wall Street Traitors

This week I'll be posting the completed versions of the other 6 pieces of artwork that I did for this year's GGRD Season Program. Starting with (and premiering) the first ever piece of artwork done to Promote the GGRD Exhibition Team The Wall Street Traitors. This piece was modeled after "Karin From Payroll" the alter ego adopted by GGRD's Sassy Crass the first time the Traitors ever played.

The season opens on March 28th with GGRD Vs. The Boston Massacre and The Traitors Vs. The Suburban Brawl!

Down The Rabbit Hole

I was really trying to accomplish a very simple task: name all of the gates that enter into Central Park. It should be a simple, straight-forward sort of thing, right?

Here's the story, Olmsted and Vaux, who designed Central Park, named each of the 20 entrances to the park after the type of people that they expected to enter through that gate. Mostly it is a list of popular occupations of the time, Mariners, Engineers, Artisans, Woodsmen, etc. but there are a few others a Boys Gate, a Girls Gate, a Childrens Gate, and a Womens Gate (oddly no Mens Gate). The problem is that in the lists I've seen there are discrepancies. Some list gates that others don't, several disagree on the name of a few of the gates, etc. In my research I ended up spiraling down the rabbit hole a bit, getting a bit far afield of my topic, and deeper into the rather fascinating history of Central Park. Then I stumbled across the Annual Reports of The Central Park Commission, several of which are available through Google Books and things really went off the rails.

These reports are chock full of things I never knew about the park, proposed buildings, statues, and other structures that either were never built or no longer exist in their original form. Then there are fun facts like the amount originally paid for all of the animals in the zoo, and which animals were originally intended to roam freely in the park (deer!!). And the general weirdo ideas that the designers had like a walking mall lined with bird cages full of exotic birds and dove-cots. I can't imagine that ever working, much less these days, though as Kid Flash just pointed out to me it is easy to imagine the Victorians being interested in such an idea.

A fascinating collection of information to be sure, if you have any interest at all in the park, then or now, you should check it out!

Photo Phriday: Phlock

Also... a Photo Phriday Special: I want you to close your eyes. Imagine the oldest known photograph of New York City. Think of what may be included in such an image, what it would look like to you. No click here to see the actual photo. How close was your imagination to the reality?

Generation Gap

At work today my office manager went off on a rant about the inanity of Facebook and twitter. She has a teenage son and is recently being faced with the kid spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook, and he has begun a twitter feed which was what set off the whole thing. As a good mother she felt it was her duty to follow his tweets, but when he tweeted that he was leaving Starbucks she went off. Why do people need to know that information? What possible good does it do to announce to the world something that trivial? Who cares what you are doing? I tried to help her, to get her to see that maybe he was tweeting about it because he was actually going to meet friends who were following his tweets and would therefore know that he was now on the way. She still didn't get it. She didn't in fact want to get it I think.

Thinking about this later left me in an interesting position. I've somehow started to see what generational gap I am fitting into. I know Facebook, in fact I have a Facebook account, but I don't really update it, and I don't participate in all of the games and invitations and announcements and wall-writings and things. I know twitter. From time to time I read someone's tweets, but I don't have an account there, don't feel the need to twitter myself, but I at least can see the usefulness and appeal of it.

I live an online life. I am here after all, and in several other places online. I carry my laptop just about everywhere I go. Someday in June when AT&T finally decides that I am worthy of upgrading to one I'll have an iPhone, which I'm sure will mean that my life will become even more net-saturated. I have always said that I will be the first in line when they finally allow me access Google through a cybernetic implant in my brain. But I am somehow in between the generation of the office manager, not understanding and hating the methods that the young'uns are using to keep up with each other, and the generation of her son, who is fully immersed in the tech and sees it as an integral part of his life. I don't really want you to know every 140 character moment of my life, and I don't really care to know yours. And I am still one of those people who feels that if I "friend" you on Facebook or elsewhere then I should at least have met you once or twice in a real life situation. Hopefully I haven't yet fallen into that myopic area where I throw up my hands and shake my heads at the "kids today."

Cooking with Soup

Kid Flash has a minor collection of cookbooks. Most of them are the things you'd expect to find in a vegetarian kitchen, Moosewood, and Mollie Katzen and the like, but he does have a few gems like "Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers." My favorite by far though is "Campbell's Cooking With Soup."

I'm not sure when it was first published but the copy we have is the 11th printing(!) and was it "Revised" in 1972. It includes over 600 recipes using Campbell's soups. Most of them are pretty much what you'd expect: Stroganoff where the main ingredient is cream of mushroom soup, spaghetti sauce made from tomato soup, that sort of thing. I will also say that "stir now and then" has quickly become my favorite recipe direction ever.

Then there are the real horror stories like the Meat-shell Pie or the Chili Liver. And don't even GET me started on the gelatins and aspics. I will never understand what people in the 50's and 60's saw in meat jell-o.

You can also find some true gems like "Mock Sukiyaki" and "Oyster a la Queen." But the true jaw dropper of the book though doesn't come until the end and the chapter entitled "Soup On The Rocks." The very idea of these turns my stomach. Can you imagine a cocktail party where one of these things was handed to you?

Subway Sketch

Snow Day!

You see that little area just to the right of her hand? That's Manhattan. Turns out that we were more in the 10"+ range though and we have been fairly buried. We had the first school closings in 5 years, which of course meant nothing to me but meant that Kid Flash got to sit at home tonight and do homework instead of sitting through a lecture course at the school. A free day to play catch-up never hurt anyone.

New York City can be fun in the snow if you can take advantage of it. The parks department was loaning out sleds and giving away hot chocolate in Central Park, and just watching it can be beautiful of course. I on the other hand got to go to work like normal, and what little time I did spend outside was rushing between places trying to get a few last minute pieces for the weekday cast of the show I just opened. (Two casts, two sets of costumes, two headaches.) My love/hate relationship with snow is well established, and this time is no different. I love it for about an hour until it gets driven through and turned slushy and grey and yucky. As far as I am concerned, being taught by decades of living in the south, when white things start falling from the sky you buy a ton of bread and milk and lock yourself inside until it goes away. 2" or 2', it doesn't matter, that stuff is death! I really think that is the way it SHOULD be handled.