Friday, November 30, 2007

Last Day

It's the last day of NaBoPoMo. I made it through, although some of the posts were pretty lame. Nothing too exciting happened this November, although it has been nice. I'm too tired from hanging out with Anders to post too much, but lets just say he loves taxicabs.

Also, RIP Evel.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Anders Finn is Coming to Town

Sing the title to the tune of "Santa Claus is coming to to town." Anders and Sarah are en route; mom is waiting to pick them up at Newark Airport. On the agenda--the Central Park Zoo and New York pizza at its finest.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Project Runway 2

What's with all the crying on Project Runway?

I am already totally sucked in to the new season.

But how is SUNY Oswego at Quidditch

So last March SUNY Oswego beat Middlebury in the hockey championships. My instinct was to root for Oswego, but Hosmer told my loyalty should be with my alma mater. But now perhaps the Panthers can seek their revenge, as it appears the school is now the Quidditch champions. I'm not sure if I'm proud or horrified.

ETA--Link fixed to go to article on Quidditch championship at Middlebury.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What does that mean?

I received a call from my doctor's office this afternoon, informing me that I have low carbon dioxide levels in my blood. I didn't even know this was something that was measured. A quick search of the internet of course revealed a variety of horrible things this could mean, but, in general, suggested it wasn't too much to worry about. I am going to have the follow up test, though--might as well take advantage of the fact that I have health insurance.

Idiots

I propose that we rename Heroes Idiots. Why have all the characters become so dumb and gullible all of a sudden. Mohinder is possibly the dumbest geneticist in the world. I propose that someone kill him. Peter is making really bad choices and then there is that ridiculous girl who is in love with Sylar and let her brother get killed.

Seriously why are they all so dumb. The only saving grace is Hero.

Monday, November 26, 2007

More Kitty Goodness

Elvis was little jealous that Audrey got a photo layout all to herself. To keep things fair, here are some pictures of the big E, taken with Neilson's new digital Elph.



Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Departed

Continuing with my theme of finding out about cool stuff years after everyone else, I had to mention how much I enjoyed watching The Departed, Martin Scorsese's cop/gangster drama from 2006. Marky Mark- excellent! Matt Damon, very very good! Leo- also excellent! Jack Nicholson- half of the time excellent! I was also glad to see Scorsese in top form- he is really good at violent gangster movies with a lot of Catholics in them, and I hope he makes many more.

I kept talking about it with the Necks at Thanksgiving- most of them had seen it and liked it, and Bets told me Kate had recommended it to her. I just bought a DVD of the movie it was based on- Infernal Affairs- a Hong Kong movie starring two of my favorite Chinese actors, Tony Leung and Andy Lau, and I can't wait for it to arrive.

I watched another movie with Andy Lau- Fulltime Killer- on the train back from Oswego. Two assassins, one Japanese and restrained, one Chinese and flamboyant, locked in a battle to be the number one hitman in Asia. Corny, but great visuals.

For some reason, I can't get enough of this stuff.

Batman Reinterpreted



Here is Jerry's brother Jacob's distillation of Tim Burton's first Batman movie into a 3 and a half minute music video. He stars, playing the ukulele and singing adapted lyrics of Bryan Adams' Summer of Sixty-Nine.

Takehiko Inoue


A couple of days before Thanksgiving madness started, I went to a Viz Media event (you know, the people who bring you those really cool Viz bags) at Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore that just opened a brand new store across from Bryant Park. Takehiko Inoue, a manga-ka who is one of my favorite artists working now, painted a mural for the new store. He has written and drawn two titles I love- Slam Dunk and Vagabond. These series strangely mirror some of my obsessions of the last decade or so: basketball, and mindless violence and mayhem, often centering around the use of the exquisite art of the samurai sword. Interestingly, considering his obsession with basketball and the NBA, he looks a little like Stephon Marbury, dead-beat point guard for the Knicks.

Inoue's drawings are stunningly beautiful, and he also writes an engaging narrative with compelling characters. If you are curious about manga, he may be the place to start, he certainly got me sucked in. If you're already a fan, you're probably jealous I got to be in the same room with Inoue sensei (one of the many benefits of being married to Calvin).

I never thought I would want to watch an artist paint, what could be more boring than watching someone else work, but I really enjoyed seeing Inoue work the brush. I forgot my camera! What kind of a fan am I? I was reduced to taking the bad camera phone pics below (Calvin took the picture at the top of the post).

Look for coverage in PWCW and The Beat later in the week.


History of the World in One Minute

I sometimes complain about trying to teach the History of the Modern World in one semester. But on YouTube, I found a video in which someone covers the history of the world in a minute. Shows me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I'm not sure what I think

I have seen two movies over the holiday weekend, and I honestly can't say whether I liked them or not. The first was the Darjeeling Limited, the new Wes Anderson film. Of course, it has beautiful, charming sets and a great soundtrack. Beyond that, Neilson hated it, thinking it is a shallow movie about shallow people. I'm not so sure. It did seem too long and parts are a little boring, but I was moved at times by the adult men who were trying to find a way to make it in the world after the death of their father. The second movie was I'm Not Here, the movie about Bob Dylan, with many actors (from Cate Blanchet to Richard Gere) playing different parts of the Dylan's persona, none named Bob Dylan. At times it was funny, at times it was touching, at times it was ridiculous, and at times I had no idea what was going on. Has anyone else seen these movies? What did you think?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving in Oswego

I spent Thanksgiving in Oswego with the Necks and Jerry and Hosmer. Much tasty food has been prepared and eaten- it has been great. Here are a few pictures, many more on flickr.





A is for Adorable

and Audrey, of course.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Snooopy

Hope everyone survived the holiday. Neilson and I are giving thanks that Snoopy Come Home arrived from Netflix in time to watch it tonight.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

If you are ever in Ireland

When I went to Ireland two years ago, I didn't get up to Sligo. But if I make it back, I'm certainly going to go to Culkin's Emigration Museum. Kym, did you go there?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Patagonia on Sale

Like many a Culkin, I love Patagonia products. But my Culkin cheapness keeps me from buying too much there. (Or is Kiley cheapness?) The stores never have clearance racks, although the semi-annual sales do have some great deals. I recently discovered the web specials section of the website, however, which allows me to buy Patagonia all year round. Time to stock up on that long underwear!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Let It Snow

I just walked to work (from the subway) through the first snow of the season. It is wet and messy and won't stick, but it is snow nonetheless. I'm really hoping for a huge, shut-down-the-city blizzard this winter. Only time will tell.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Project Runway

How did people feel about the season debut of Project Runway? I can't say I'm in love with any of the designers or their clothes. I did think the winner's dress was lovely, but it looked like the kind of thing that could be a fluke or the only thing he knew how to do. But it could be the start of something great. I also don't hate anyone yet, although the guy with the crazy haircut may soon fall into that category.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Its a Small World After All

My office mate and I get along well, but we wouldn't seem to have much in common, except our jobs. She is from Nigeria, lives in Westchester, and has four children ranging in age from grade schooler to early 20s. But we realized last week we both love tv, especially soapy melodramas like Grey's Anatomy and Brothers and Sisters. Then, during our faculty meeting, we had another bonding experience. There are several germaphobes in the department, and they were complaining about the how many door knobs they have to touch from the time they enter the building until they get to their offices. I can honestly say this is not something that ever crossed my mind. My office mate looked at me as whispered, "Who worries so much about germs?" Germy tv-lovers--that us.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Saving Paper

I finally got around to signing up for a few of those services which reduce junk mail. I can't believe how many catalogs, credit card applications, and other random pieces of paper I receive in a week. It takes 10 weeks or so to kick in--I wish had remembered to sign up before the Christmas rush of dead trees started to arrive.

If you want to sign up, visit Green Dimes, which charges a one time fee of $15.00 to stop a wide variety of junk mail and also plants 10 trees in your name, and Catalog Choice, which is free and stops, obviously, catalogs.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fall in the Bronx

I realized that I had the first part of my interview at BCC a year ago today. The second part was a year ago tomorrow. I remember going out to dinner with Kym and Neilson and saying there was no way I was going to get the job, as I froze up on one of the questions. But it worked out.

Here are some pictures of the fall foliage on campus. The pouring rain today probably means most of it will be gone when I go back to school Monday.



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bronx Sunset

I really hate it when it gets dark so early. I just want to crawl in bed by 6PM. But, as the sun is going down when I leave school at 4:30, I do get to see lovely sunsets.



Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Shopping

In case you missed all the early decorations and holiday music that arrives on November 1, Christmas is approaching.

If the crowds and gas prices are keeping you at home for your shopping consider shopping for a cause. There are several online malls that you can shop from and the stores donate a set percentage to the cause of your choice. You can shop at all the major online stores, you just have to link to the store from the online charity mall of your choice.

Just give has compiled a list of charity malls so you can pick the one that has more of the stores you love or the particular cause you would like to support. I shop for National Coalition for the Homeless, at www.igive.com and if you are looking for a charity I recommend them. With the economy on shaky ground charitable donations are expected to decrease, this is a way to easily donate and not spend any extra money.

Sunday Morning

Neilson and I both have crazy weeks this semester, so on Sunday mornings we like to take at least a little break, read the NY Times online, as well as academic (me) and political (Neilson) blogs. And take a ton of pictures of his kitties.




Speaking of Sunday morning, I have always loved the Wallace Stevens poem and the Velvet Underground song with that name.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day of Funk

I am in a funk today. I know I disappeared for the weekend and left you in the dark about Weese's recovery so I will just assure you that she is fine. She was wide awake when I picked her up at the vet and while there was a slight recovery period in which she wobbled around the bedroom, she was quickly over it and demanding wet food as her right after dental work.

I fell asleep with Weese though so I didn't make it to the blog that day. On Saturday one of my jobs, the yarn store, told me that they had decided to restructure and hire a full time manager before Christmas and that meant they had to let me go, before Christmas. This was frustrating. Today they asked me to write up a primer for all the Excel spreadsheets and inventories I had put together for them because no one else in the store knows how to use Excel. I was instructed to start the directions with instructions on how to open Excel. This was also frustrating. They noted I seemed angry. Really, did I? I wasn't so much angry as frustrated and stressed about losing a job right before Christmas. Hiring a full-time manager is the right business decision for them, but coming as it does before Christmas, for me, well frustrating.

Luckily my friend Marcy and I usually run on Monday evenings. It was extremely windy, cold, and wet outside. We went for a beer instead. I feel better. And despite the tanking economy and my fear that even when I finish this degree it will not matter because I won't be able to find a job in a depressed economy and it will be a choice between starving and freezing to death because of rising gas prices, it will somehow work out. Maybe all these lousy job experiences will only be fodder for some essays, a la David Sedaris. Let us only hope.

Here are some Weese photos.


Weese was mad!

She tried to walk it off.







Staying low to the ground turned out to be a better plan.

TV

The creator of Heroes recently gave an interview with Entertainment Weekly in which he apologized for the beginning of the season. I don't necessarily agree with this statement, which I find a little condescending: "We assumed the audience wanted season 1 — a buildup of intrigue about these characters and the discovery of their powers. We taught [them] to expect a certain kind of storytelling. They wanted adrenaline. We made a mistake." Unless you are creating The Wire or the Sopranos, I don't think you, Mr. Show Creator, are "teaching" me anything about storytelling. But many of his other points are quite interesting, and, in my opinion, on the mark.

I saw my friend married to the striking writer over the weekend, and he said one theory is that the producers wanted the strike, as it allows them to void a lot of expensive development deals they felt were going no where. Also, they were very disapointed with the TV season and the strike gives them a blank slate. I don't know if it is true, but I always enjoy a conspiracy story. I do think the Republicans must be thrilled that Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert are off the air.

What shows will you miss the most? My list includes Lost, Dirty, Sexy Money, all the Law and Orders (Yes, sadly, even Criminal Intent), How I Met Your Mother, and Brothers and Sisters.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

San Antonio Marathon

Today was the San Antonio Marathon and Nola and I went out to cheer. The course runs about 2 blocks from my house so we got up early and were able to see the front runners to the very end. It is a small marathon so we cheered for about two hours.

One of my friends from school was running his first marathon and it was great to go out and support him. I tried to rally my other friends but no one showed up. They didn't seem to really realize how important cheering is or how special running a marathon is. Oh well, their loss.

I held a sign that said Runners are HOT and it was much appreciated. There is not much of a crowd for this small marathon so the runners are really happy to see anyone cheering. Nola also received many compliments and kept trying to join the race.

Next year the San Antonio marathon is going to be a Rock and Roll race and they are expecting 15,000 runners. Who's in?

Here are a few pictures of the race.



The front runner!

More Runners

Rounding the corner

A Familiar Sight

The animator (Simon Tofield) clearly has a cat a lot like Elvis, from mewing to the head batting to "who me" attitude to the "now that you're up, you might as well feed me" look.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Disturbing Celebrity News

Can these stories about Lance Armstrong dating Ashley Olsen possibly be true? It just seems so disturbing. My antipathy for Armstrong is well known, but it had actually started to dim a little. I liked it when he admitted just how miserable he felt during the marathon last year, and he acknowledged he had not respected the distance. And he was pretty funny during an interview during the race this year. When asked why he wasn't running with his entourage this year, he pointed to all the people around him (just regular--if fast-runners), and said, "I do have an entourage. I'm running with this guy with green hair, and this guy here." He seemed to be admitting the whole being paced by marathoning greats last year was a little obnoxious and now he was just going to his own race. Also, on a different note, I have come to realize how much he means to people with cancer, which is no small thing. But this new gossip leads me to believe I was right in the first place.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A New Treat

Jody, of course, had introduced me to the wonders of panatone. This morning I learned about its sweeter cousin, il pandoro. A coworker from Italy brought the lemon version to a breakfast meeting, which was especially fortunate as, due to crossed signals, no breakfast had been order. It was incredibly delicious, moist, sweet, lemon cake, shot through with limoncello filling. Yum!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Weese is getting ready for her very own trip to the dentist

I will report back on her recovery tomorrow. I drop her off early tomorrow morning. She knows something is up. The food has disappeared.

Walking and Ipods

When I lived in Washington DC I used to walk everywhere and while walking I listened to my Ipod. Since I moved back to Texas the opportunities to walk aren't often. San Antonio, the entire state for that matter, is not designed for walkers.

This morning I had to go the court house to observe a trial. I took the opportunity to walk and listen to a few tunes. Even though the observation was a bust I had a great morning.

Hero Worship

Last night, Neilson got to meet one of his heroes. I would say there is a slight resemblance. (One Valentines Day, we went to see an exhibit of early John Water's movies, which we both found weirdly romantic.)

Code Monkey Like You

Molly was having a blue day a few weeks ago and I had the perfect fix for her, Code Monkey. Then I made one of my managers at work listen to it too and she then played it for her 3 yr old son, who apparently couldn't get enough Coulton and just kept dancing away to his songs all night. So check out Jonathan Coulton's website for yourself. He is a Brooklyn musician, singer-songwriter, and internet superstar and he recently undertook the challenge of writing and podcasting a song a week for a year. Not surprisingly, once you listen to him, he is good friends with John Hodgman. (They went to Yale together - it makes so much sense, even if I never met anyone half as fun during all those weekend trips out to CT to visit Irene.) You can see them on YouTube touring together to promote The Areas of My Expertise. I first heard Coulton on a knitting podcast called Cast On about a year ago. Who knew podcasts about knitting would become my new favorite source for music, particularly irony music?

Anyway, you should check him out. You can listen to all his music for free, and download quite a bit of it gratis. I highly recommend Skullcrusher Mountain and Code Monkey. Code Monkey is sure to draw you out of your funk. But explore other songs as well. His version of Baby Got Back is worth a listen and Kate, as a history geek, you should listen to his song about the presidents. Jody, you should look at the section of his website called You. Lots of people have sent in animated videos of his songs and he posts them there.

In summation, Jonathan Coulton, You Is Awesome!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

New Yankee Stadium

Whether Yankee friend or foe, I bet most people who read this blog were not in favor of the new Yankee Stadium. But, like it or not, it is going up, and I thought there might be some interest in seeing a few pictures. I wish I had started documenting it when I started at BCC last winter, just when construction was getting going. (I hope you can see these pictures--I've been having some trouble getting them uploaded.)





Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Strike!

Is anyone else concerned about the TV strike? I'm in complete sympathy with the writers, but it might be a dreary winter. A guy I went to college with is married to a striking writer, and he is warning us that it is going to be a long haul. Well, maybe I can catch up with all those movies I have saved on my DVR and make better use of my Netflix subscription. Perhaps I will finally learn what the Battlestar Gallatica fuss is all about.

Happy Election Day

I must admit that I almost forgot about election day this year. With all the talk about 2008 I forgot that we actually vote every year not just for president.

The Texas Constitution is a big ole mess and probably the longest constitution in the country. Today we are voting on 16 Constitutional amendments. Yes 16, they range from an amendment that would make veterans with 100% disability exempt from property taxes to an amendment that will abolish the constitutional authority for the office of inspector of hides and animals.

I will go to the polls today and vote, sadly I think that very few Texans will actually make the time to vote for these complicated and sometimes archaic amendments.

He sold out! We elected him, and he sold out!

So says Sally at the end of "You're not elected Charlie Brown" although she is not talking about Charlie Brown. I don't think he would have sold out. But it is true that Linus did, much as I hate to admit it I must agree with Sally.

Hopefully we will do better with any candidates elected tomorrow, or in next year's election cycle. Political fever is gaining. I fear that Sally may be right but I hope I won't find myself quoting her next year "They're all the same! Promises. Promises. You elect them, and they weasel out of their promises!"

Linus, I liked you better when you were waiting in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin and staying true to your vision, dreaming of sincerity.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Run Katie Run

I think it is kind of cool that Katie Holmes ran the NYC Marathon without a lot of pre-race fan fare. But I have to admit, pathetically, that it made me happy that I ran a marathon faster than she did. Also, and I apologize for being crude, a lot of the pictures of her make it look as if she ran without a sports bra. Does Scientology not allow them?

Do You Believe in an Interventionist God?

Marianne Petit is doing a series of Participatory Books- she is illustrating stories posted on her site. I wrote this story in response to "Do You Believe in an Interventionist God?" since changed to Wrestling with God..

My feelings about God (and particularly Jesus) are decidedly mixed. I was brought up to be an extremely religious Catholic girl – my goal was to be a nun (although I think this had as much to do with avoiding marriage as with religious fervor).

I had the normal teenage epiphany about religion when I was about 16- God doesn’t exist, organized religion is bullshit, etc, etc. While I adopted the stance of a typically cynical agnostic artist- the Catholic Girl within was never really abandoned.

This has lead to some curious hobbies. My favorite tourist activity is to visit churches – I even visit churches here in my home city of New York on occasion (the old St. Patrick’s Church in Little Italy is a particular favorite).

One of the reasons I think I still secretly embrace Catholicism is the exhilarating feeling of being a sinner. I had forgotten all about being a “bad girl”, until I visited Rome about 15 years ago. I was standing in St. Agnes in Agony- a church in Piazza Navona that has a beautiful facade by Borromini. The sound of liturgical music, the smell of incense, and most importantly, the statue of the tortured woman with her breasts on a platter reminded me of what it was to be “good” and what it was to be “bad” (although it might seem the rewards of being “good” were somewhat questionable- torture and death?)

To clarify- being “bad” might involve drinking a cup of coffee- I don’t have to be very bad to be a sinner.

Occasionally the cynical artist and the Catholic Girl within clash. One Good Friday, I toasted Jesus with a martini- and was almost instantly stricken with nausea. I agonized over this incident, calling friends on the phone to “confess”, and I am still a little ashamed when I think of it. (Catholics among you will recognize this emotion).

I sometimes believe that in the future, I may become one of those little ladies wearing a black dress putting flowers on the altar somewhere. That is, until I hear a quote from the Pope or a line of St. Paul’s that sends me into a fury of bitter invective. Catholic Girl within, cynical agnostic- engaged in a life-long battle.

I am just as miserable at pool as ever

I went to a work gathering tonight to say farewell to employees who have opted for non-bookstore employ in recent months. It was out of the house and therefore interesting. It helps that my fellow employees at the bookstore are interesting folk. Afterward a small group of us headed out in search of one more drink, it was early yet, but as I had feared, most of the downtown bars remained closed on a Sunday evening. Eventually we found an open bar with an Internet jukebox and some pool tables. I got into an argument about teaching and the Midwest and then played an embarrassingly bad few games of pool. Every few years I play a game just to remind myself that games involving the shooting of small balls into targets and me don't mix. I was awarded most improved player of the night. I hate that award. I won it once in high school. It is like getting a pat on the head for learning how not to trip over your own feet when everyone else knows how to ball-room dance. Oh well. It was a fun night anyway, even if I was the oldest person there at the end of the night.

By the way--this post counts as a Sunday post because it isn't midnight here in the far west, even if we have set the post time as EST.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Windtricity

I recently signed up for all wind energy with my power company. I am now fully using clean energy for my house. My house is old, has little insulation, and lots of cracks so it takes lots of energy to cool or heat. Luckily for the planet, Texas has a lot of wind and is realizing that it works just as good if not better than oil.

The website has a section of FAQ where they assure you even if it isn't windy one day your lights will not go out. It certainly made me feel better.

The first Sunday in November

I wish, of course, I was out cheering for my marathoning cousins. However, as the NY Marathon so rudely did not select them, I'm doing one of my favorite things and watching the entire event on TV. I love watching marathons on television, a fact that mystifies many people. I had to go to a conference yesterday, or I would have gone to watch the Olympic Marathon Trials--5 laps around Central Park. But I can't believe one of the entrants died.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Own Pilot

Jerry has reached a stage in school where he is not taking classes but just flying for more experience and hours. His school lent him a plane (cool I know) and he flew to San Antonio and stayed with me for a week and took day flights around Texas. He was able to visit his parents and mine and some of his friends from home and college.

He was recently received his instrument rating (he can fly in weather now, and in clouds) and this is him signing his new license.

Why is there no good cheap take-out in this town?

Spokane lacks many things but one of the main problems, at least for us, is the utter lack of good cheap take-out. It is sad really. There was a semi-decent pizza place but it never stayed open past 8 o'clock at night and its employees were lazy and not-to-bright, as in they could never remember what was on their menu, no matter how many months they had been there, and reading it themselves seemed to only confuse them further. It is now closed. This is not really a surprise, but it is a disappointment. They may have been frustrating but their pizzas weren't bad and they had a very tasty salad. Aside from the pizza problem, the biggest problem is the utter lack of Chinese take-out. This town has Chinese buffets and a P.F. Changs (with plenty of Chang sauce) but no inexpensive Chinese take-out. This makes me sad. Matt has gotten quite good with the wok, and sometimes he makes things like this for us.







These things are always tasty, but on nights like tonight, when we are both exhausted and just want to collapse, call the Chinese restaurant around the corner, and veg out, these things feel impossible. Very sad.

Words of Wisdom

Yesterday, I went to a symposium on education at BCC. One of the speakers was a man who had started a high school for African-American boys in the Bronx. He said one of the school's motto is:

If you keep doing what you have always done, you will get the results you have always gotten.

Wise words. But then I watched Grey's Anatomy, and Christina told Merideth:

It is easier to identify your issues than to get over them.

Also true.

Fred and Whitfield- Both Geniuses!

Our friend Whitfield Lovell just received a MacArthur "Genius" grant. He is a wonderful artist, and it is particularly touching because his longtime partner, artist Fred Wilson, is also a MacArthur fellow!

Fred hosted a party for Whitfield with his dealers on Thursday evening- it was such a happy occasion, and also an opportunity to see friends from the last 30 years in New York- we seem to know a lot of the same people.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I felt like an undergrad again

So I said I would try to post every day during the month of November and then I missed Nov. 1, but I can explain myself, and then post twice today (once here and once on Kym's Kitchen) to try to make up for it. Yesterday was the deadline for a major anthro grant and I have been burning the 2 am oil for it this week. I don't drink coffee all that often anymore but I needed a large cup to get through my day by Wednesday and the smell and taste of it combined with the fatigue brought on by academic work had my undergrad days rushing back to me. By yesterday morning I could remember it all clearly, as it took everything in me not to keel over on my morning shift at the bookstore after staying up to the wee hours of the morning writing for the 2nd, or was it 3rd, night in a row. Rushing home after work to put the final touches on the grant, check in with my advisor, and rush off to Kinkos only solidified the flash-back experience. Hard to believe I still look back fondly on those days, but it is too true. On a side-note, I started getting mail about my 10 year college reunion this week. I am kind of freaked out. It doesn't feel like 10 years.

But back to yesterday's grant. I had most of it done but somehow the last minute touches were taking forever. It didn't help that the grant had to be formatted into this ridiculous word application that did not allow for cutting and pasting or spell check. It was truly a time-warp experience. I am sure that I missed some typos but I don't care. The grant had to be submitted on-line by midnight EST yesterday, 9 pm here, but I also had to send in 5 hard-copies, one paper-clipped and 4 stapled in the upper left-hand corner, secured in a tightly bound package and post-marked by yesterday. Apparently the funding agency is under the impression that post-offices, or fed-ex stops, stay open until midnight. Oh well. I managed to upload the documents and mail them out with a few hours to spare but I did come home and collapse on the sofa with no energy whatsoever and even less desire to open my laptop back up. But I am feeling refreshed again after a decent night's sleep so I am once again ready to take on the blogging challenge.

Halloween

Marianne Petit, whose legendary exploits as a graphic novelist and as an animator are often celebrated here, gets together with a group of friends and makes "theme" costumes for the Halloween Parade here in NY. This year the theme was paper dolls- suggested by Beth Harrison. I didn't think I would have time to make a costume, but I managed at the last minute- here's a couple of pictures, and there are many more here. We made it to TV, we were interviewed by NY1. I can't imagine a better reason to be on the airwaves.


Denver Pics

Calvin and I had a wonderful time in Denver visiting everyone. It was particularly fun to hang out with the little guys.

Here's a couple of pictures, there are many more here. Higher resolution versions of about half the pictures are here on flickr.




A fix for Wire junkies

I know John and Bets are fans--is anyone else anxiously awaiting the fifth and final season of The Wire in January? If so, the long article on David Simon, the show's creator, in the Oct. 22 New Yorker should help tide you over. One interesting tidbit is that the show's two biggest blocks of fans are people living in the "inner-city" and critics; as the article points out, "Sometimes the fan base of the show resembles the demographics of many American cities--mainly the urban poor and the affluent elite, with the middle class hollowed out." I have read elsewhere that drug dealers sometimes watch the show for tips on evading the cops. Simon sounds like a very smart, very intense guy--not surprising, not only given The Wire but also his involvement with Homicide and The Corner. There are a lot of interesting quotes, but this was one of my favorites:

So much of what comes out of Hollywood is horseshit. Because these people live in West L.A., they don't even go to East L.A. The only time they go downtown is to get their license renewed. And what they increasingly know about the world is what they see on other TV shows about cops or crime or poverty. The American entertainment industry get poverty so relentlessly wrong . . . Poor people are eeither the salt of the earth, and they're there to exalt us with their homespun wisdom and their sheer grit and determination to rise up, or they are people to be beaten up by Sipowicz . . . How is it that there's nobody actually on a human scale from the other America? The reason is they've never met anyone from the other America. I mean, they could ask their gardener what its like.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy November

November is my favorite month, with the possible exception of May. (I am a Taurus with Scorpio rising after all.) I love the blustery, cold winds, which always make me feel like I'm about to be swept away to an adventure. I've had good job luck in this month. I started my first New York job the 2nd week of November (16 years ago!) and interviewed for the job I have now last Nov. 15. One of my friends who used to live here was born towards the end of the month and always had great parties the weekend Beaujolais Nouveau came out. It does contain my least favorite holiday, but now that I've blocked out that weekend for myself, I enjoy watching tv marathons and going to empty movie theaters. I can't wait to see what this month holds!

Britney's Album

I bought Britney's new album yesterday after hearing some of it on the radio and being encouraged by my friend Justin. Despite her horrible/painful performance at the VMAs and her ridiculous behavior the album really is GREAT.

I was shocked but she really pulled it off. Great running music and some great pull your shades down, turn up the music dancing after a long day. Rock on Britney!

Mr. Halloween 2007




Frank supervising Trick or Treat Night


video

Anders, Sarah, Andy, and Ezra at the end of a great Halloween night!