Thursday, May 29, 2008

hgtv: brooklyn kitchen part 2

in response to anonymous' request, here is what the kitchen looks like, classroom ceiling hiding, so you can insert a tin ceiling in with your imagination and the below photo. by the way, we will be taking that not-great-with-silver cream color off the walls too.
any further suggestions from the peanut gallery? all white paint? turquoise window trim? i'm happy that the retro schoolhouse lamp is tied for first place, as it was my favorite. still looking at your suggestions, though.
and then, for my final insecurity, am i crazy to paint the ceiling silver? a lot of people paint theirs white. the only reason i waver is i'm afraid to cut out any light. thoughts?

Monday, May 26, 2008

calling out all lurkers--it's test time!

okay, here's how it is. interior decorator i am not. in fact, if it weren't for that time jenilee visited me a couple years ago, spending the time that wasn't occupied with applying band-aids to her feet, wielding a hammer and wire, i wouldn't have anything on my walls whatsoever. and paint? what's that?! you mean walls can be another color other than the white they were when you moved in?
i did, however, embark upon a ridiculous home improvement saga so painfully long and unresolved that i gave up writing the post i'd started a year ago about it and really do promise to revisit it once it's all done. maybe. that saga involves our kitchen. so let's pretend for a moment that there may, one of these dreamy days, be a silver tin ceiling in my kitchen and instead of that awful eye buzzing florescent tube lighting, i could choose a light fixture. keep in mind there are turquoise accents in the kitchen (my last painful and super-conscious effort to 'decorate'). i want you all to vote because i found this fun poll site. and i want your input. even if you're that person from australia who keeps coming to my blog because you googled vegetable porn and came up with this. so the order of these lamp photos is the order they are listed in the poll. and i'm serious about sending me links. i didn't know where to look for lamps! share your brilliant good taste with me. blow me away!

more at

more squirrel tv

some of you have been asking for more squirrel videos. okay, twist my arm. my favorite one is here, where my boss and i cruelly torture mr. squirrel by trying to take his almond away. squirrel growling ensues. in another, mr. squirrel sits on my side eating the prized almond. and here he experiences a leash for the first time. and if that's not enough, here he is doing more eating for cuteness. mr. squirrel continues to distract me from my work.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

happy birthday allyson, even though you're totally forbidden from reading this profanity sprinkled blog

the crazy! banner you see up there comes courtesy of my ingenious niece (right, holding baby cousin, rory). allyson enters the teen years today. this is apparently something she is very excited about. that's difficult for me to relate to, as this was something that, twenty years ago, scared the shit out of me, as i read seventeen and sassy magazine cover to cover, including the fine print of the tampon ads, waiting for the mysterious, ominous monster called puberty to strike me down with a skillet.
if this is allyson's mindset, she is certainly hiding it. so here's to the brave, brainy, beautiful and talented allyson. she sent me the above (oh so flattering) photo collage a few months ago. it came coincidentally sized to blog header specs. this is interesting considering she's not supposed to know that i have a blog. but neither is my mom. and we know how well that worked. i'm totally anonymous and full of tact. anyhoo.
allyson is spending this momentous birthday doing her favorite thing--flexing her leg muscles and kicking soccer balls around a field at a san francisco tournament. bravo.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

hanging from the podium: a feather trimmed eye mask stating: "the queen is resting"

the days have been filled with what goes on when someone dies. the sorting through things, evaluating what is important and kept and what is to be donated. this is a process that can't help but mess with your mind. first of course there is the inevitable sadness and nostalgia for she who has passed. then there are the more existential thoughts about what all of this stuff means. who will sort through my things? what surprises will they find? will everything be trash?
despite a certain gratuitous handful of these thoughts, parker and i have done surprisingly well at staying on task and not getting too heavy.
and today was the memorial. it was beautiful, really. a celebration of lynn's life just as we'd wanted it. we collaged poster boards of snapshots and sprinkled little mementos on tables. ID cards, clown noses, nursing hats, her purple stethoscope, the infamous feather boa.on the table above you see a get well soon card given to lynn when she was a school nurse. packed with student's signatures, my favorite one reads, "come back soon, i hate the new nurse!" this made me chuckle.
i displayed my 'waiting for the postman' series to its absolute best audience. a lot of poeple who loved and knew the spunk of lynn. i knew the names of most of these people through lynn's stories, however, hadn't met many of them. amazingly they each came to me and thanked me for what i gave to her life, told me how lovingly she'd spoken of me. this was perhaps most touching to me, as i half expected people to wonder why i was the only non-relative who made a speech, why i organized this service with the family. but there were no such questions, only thank yous and hugs. it was a beautiful day. i was going to post what i read--the accompaniment to the photo series--but remembered that i'd already posted it. again, i had serious misgivings about reading it. feared it sounded too critical, that it didn't showcase my love for lynn. again, my worries were neutralized by an outpouring of people thanking me for my words. what comfort to celebrate a life and to feel the relief that someone you love is no longer in pain. but now, after my grandma back in december i think i'm ready for no one i love to be in pain thereby no one needing relief from aforementioned pain. deal?

consequently, lynn's ashes are sitting in that lovely trunk-style tin which i found while cleaning out her jewelry collection (let's just say that my grandma's costume jewelry collection has some new friends). i figured, why buy something new that meant nothing to her rather than use this box she kept for decades? in the tin she is kept company by the ashes of her two favorite cats, trevor and chauncy. she was a lover of cats and music.

Friday, May 16, 2008

something to smile about

many thanks to all well wishes. i guess being in your 30's is more than just wedding and pregnancy announcements. here's something a little more whimsical. found a ferret harness that fits mr. squirrel. here he models.

there are many outtakes. perhaps later i will post them as links for those of you who have obsessions with little things. like me. not me being the little thing, but the one with obsessions about little things. huh? you know what i mean.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

i don't know what to say

my friend lynn passed away twenty-seven minutes ago. i feel such relief that she's not laying there in that awful place with the tubes no longer even able to even write to communicate. yet. the tears come anyway. for the memory of that crazy lady who loved me like a daughter.

to see some of my photos of lynn, click here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

being in your 30's = endless excitement over wedding and pregnancy announcements.

nate and naima moved to brooklyn back in 2000. a friend of a friend, i met naima after i had already gotten her a job catering, insisting she was my good friend and a great worker. lucky for me and the company, both of those statements became true.

naima is a truly beautiful soul whose sweetness is only equaled by her husband nate. ready to start a family, they moved back to austin, texas last year. i miss her incredible cooking and her down to earth nature. and did i mention the hummus and the breakfast rolls and the chili and the cobbler? appropriately, i'm seeing naima for the first time since she left new york, at her own baby shower. she is one of those natural born mothers. i can't wait to see that little tummy.

i don't know who painted this portrait, but they nailed the vibe spot on.

Friday, May 9, 2008

mr. credit suisse vp, do you have anything to add to the agenda? "oh, sorry, i was lost in contemplation over this gorgeous photo of a mexican cave!"

last night, a personal milestone. a group exhibition opening at the credit suisse boardroom including three of my hand developed and printed black and white photographs. four years ago i wouldn't have specifically mentioned the fact that i made these images with my hands in a darkroom, but now that we live in the digital world, the process seems special, antiquated and laborious (as if the ridiculous amount of time i spend in photoshop these days isn't labor!).

i lured my two cronies--emre and mieke--to the opening with promises of free booze, which alas, turned out to be a hoax. have you ever heard of an art opening that didn't stock cheap wine? semes the caterer thought 'education alliance' meant we were all kids. so we clinked our flutes of sparkling apple cider in the brightly lit board room and my friends were kind enough to stay by my side anyway since i held the stock of band-aids (tis the season for busting out the blister-producing shoes!).

i internally squealed with delight when i found the year-long home of my photos to be one of the 'skyline' buildings--the metlife at 23rd street. often i am transfixed by it's clock tower and washes of colored lights that sometimes mirror the neighboring empire state building.

i took the opportunity to shamelessly request to be photographed beside each of my photos. self-deprecating i may be. modest, however, i am not. if something good happens, i'm going to brag about it until i'm blue in the face. i also may have had to splurge on an adorable dress from brooklyn industries (otherwise known as that store that i can't afford to shop at). through some fluke of random size charts cooperating with the gods of congratulations, i had to keep descending in size till i settled into a size FOUR. this does not happen. brooklyn industries, i like your size chart.

not to inflate the ego too much, in a moment so ghastly rude that i could only be amused rather than taking the offense i should, the curator of the exhibition introduced herself to me, complimented my work and said she'd like to give me her card as she acquires photography for this and that etc etc. as she fished through her wallet, she backtracked, "um...looks like i don't have as many cards left as i thought i did..." and saved by the bell, the hostess called us into the other room for speeches. curator bolted away. okay. snub complete. puzzling though.

in other snub-related news, i observed the 'artist in residence' who had twice thrown me out of the darkroom without warning during 'open studio' time so she could have it to herself. no apology, no introduction, just a very condescending 'and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out' attitude. i took evil delight in seeing her look long at my photos then compliment me.

so the scorecard evened out. one snub, one victory over former snub. but who's keeping score? and overall, total victory. nice to see my photos in frames.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

fun times at the meet and greet

dear dooce.
i'm sorry that i gave you a really cool t shirt that you'll find is likely a size too small. i know, i know you're tall. but truthfully, for some reason, i thought your boobs were smaller! it's that self deprecating attitude of yours that fooled me. then i met you and all i could think was, oh no, her boobs are WAY bigger than i thought!

dear dooce.
i'm sorry i didn't tell you that about the boobs as conversation when i went to say goodbye instead of saying all those things i promised not to say like, "i read your blog everyday", "i feel like you're my friend/i know you" "isn't this blogging/celebrity thing so weird?" "wow, what a beautiful day it was today". that dragged on way to long while my eyes couldn't stop rolling at myself.

i must have been hungry for my foot in my mouth. good times.


the cute little girl that i spent TWO hours with marveling at what losers we were to stand in line to meet someone when they'd already run out of books for the signing anyway....emailed me these ridiculous photos that sum up exactly how awkward this whole affair was.

the only comforting thing about this photo is how both of us look completely and equally insane.

a note of explanation, as you may be confused that we're standing on the sidewalk in brooklyn. i had joked that they'd cut the line right before me--and they did precisely that. the fire marshals got upset or something that too many white girls were lined up in one spot, and kicked us to the curb.

and here I give dooce a bit of a tourist thrill, a welcome to brooklyn handshake where i make like i'm about to attack her. and she recoils in fear. like i said, totally smooth sailing.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

greetings mr. squirrel

have i mentioned lately that i love my job? there are many reasons which i won't detail right now, but i will list one as the unpredictability and the sheer insanity of my boss. while he hasn't launched any homemade submarines into the new york harbor, or built any speakeasies under the parkway, or declared any east river islands sovereign nations lately, last week he introduced me to his new pet, mr. squirrel.

you may think that mr. squirrel is awfully cute. you wouldn't be alone. i would be embarrassed to repeat the series of adoring sounds that came out of my mouth when i first laid eyes on this little creature, who just last week was only 1/2 the size he is now.
you may think mr. squirrel is a nasty and dangerous rodent who is unfit to be a pet. at least he's not a coyote, who, while being really cute, i'm guessing, wouldn't win win the neighbor's prize for best apartment pet. though i used to work with a girl who had a pet bobcat. in manhattan.

all logic aside, the simple truth of the matter is that mr. squirrel--a lost baby with a broken leg--stowed away in my boss's suitcase up in cape cod. when my boss took him outside and deposited him on the porch, mr. squirrel ran right back after him, climbed up his leg and crawled into the pocket of his hoodie.

it was love.

now mr. squirrel thinks my boss is his mommy and i am a very climbable tree. i will admit, the first time he scaled my jeans, i thought surely he was on his way up to my face to bite my nose off. i remembered my ex-boyfriend (who was also terrified of dying from lockjaw--wow, he wouldn't like my job) and his absolute inability to relax in the park for fear that every squirrel (especially the rabid ones) was plotting a conspiracy attack on him.
far from participating in the squirrel armageddon that parker imagined, mr. squirrel has lived up to his cuteness, just wanting to cuddle in the crook of your arm or sit on your palm and use his hands to eat from a pile of pine nuts. this behavior falls much more in line with my smitten impression of squirrels. in fact, upon visiting me shortly after my move to new york in 1996, my friend kim noted with amusement that i had become so hard up for wildlife--living in the big city--that i had resorted to talking to squirrels and pigeons as though they were adorable babies. she coined this my 'squirrel voice'--a most nauseating high pitch laced with too many w's. come here wittle, wittle sqwirrel.... i use the squirrel voice with my cat prussia too, who truth be told, with her twitchy tail and skittish nature is just an overgrown calico squirrel. it doesn't really work with the bedbugs though. something about the vampiric nightly bloodsucking that isn't so cute and fuzzy. but that's a whole different post....

so far, the novelty of driving the boss's truck around with a squirrel balancing on the steering wheel, attracting stares of wonder, or more fun, watching the boss feign a panic attack when someone on the street points out there is a squirrel poking it's head out of his hood, hasn't worn off. and no, mr. squirrel may not be the ideal pet once he matures into an adult. but we'll just have to crack that acorn when we get to it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

t minus one year...and counting.

i'm not being cocky and saying it is--i don't want to jinx myself or anything--but this might be... just may be....if all goes according to plan...the very last may that i feel sadness when i pass the hallmark stores and see the black square hat cards, feel like the tulips popping out of the ground are chidingly saying, "ooh...graduation! wouldn't it be nice to have a bachelor's degree?" not that anything would really be different. but wouldn't it be nice to finish that never-ending story? yes, flowers speak to me every may. it's true.
in catering it's really tough. graduation parties every year. and every year the graduates keep getting younger, until yes, i'm referring to them as 'kids'.
maybe next year will be my may.

i know, i know. you thought i was done with this post. i did too. but i just had to confess that the past three mays, the ones that i've been enrolled in school, haven't been as bad, since i've been working toward the goal and all. but still. i'm just saying. i may have to purchase the largest frame ever procured for a bachelors degree. larger than a phd frame.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

rock on

dear artist.
i like the ring of that.
three of my black and white (film!) photographs that i printed with my own hands--in a darkroom--will be displayed at credit suisse for a year in their boardroom. and for sweet irony's sake, the cocktail party will be catered by my old co-workers. nice. but i'm not bragging or anything.