Goings On

August 16, 2007 at 9:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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What a long and crazy two weeks I’ve had! My trip to Siggraph, while totally worth it, left me hopelessly behind at work, so not only did I have to come in on the weekend, but I also had to come in early and stay late just about every night this week. Millimeter finally made it out the door today, and DCP has only a few pages left to send in the morning. Think I’ll only put in a half day tomorrow, I’m so exhausted.

Siggraph was a total blast. It was hard coming back to the 100 degree heat after the lovely weather in San Diego. Our magazines had a booth on the show floor where I helped demonstrate our new website, Reel-Exchange.com, sign people up for free subscriptions to the magazine, and give out free issues. Millimeter, with Ratatouille on the cover (click here and scroll all the way down to see all my lovely covers), flew off the table. We ended up running out at the end of the second day. In addition to manning the booth, I took photos for our show blog. I felt like a real journalist running around the convention center with my fancy press badge and my nikon slung over my shoulder. For some reason I kept getting held up at the ILM booth watching these awesome special effects demonstrations. Go figure, heh. Along with my fancy press badge, I got a free ticket to the Electronic Theater, a two-hour showcase of the best in special effects and animation graphics. Craig, our intrepid editor, summed up the evening way better than I can in his blog entry. Craig and I had quite an adventure that night. Obsessed with trying San Diego’s famous fish tacos (James lived there as a kid and has always raved about them), we walked all over the Gas Lamp District looking for a taco stand to no avail. Craig had a car with him, but before we could leave we had to pop into this party at the House of Blues to take some pics and write something up for the blog. For some reason I was on the VIP list, so I got right in while poor Craig had to stand in a line that went around the block. I bypassed the bar and went straight to the ladies room, then took a turn around the almost empty dance floor. Maybe I was there too early, or maybe I was still obsessing over the lack of fish tacos in my belly. Regardless, I quickly made my way out to the line Craig was still standing in, relayed what I saw (which he artfully wrote up on the blog the next day), and hot-footed our way back to the car. We decided to drive over to Anthony’s, another restaurant James had mentioned was good, only to find it was closed. Not to be deterred, we quizzed a waitress waiting outside, and she pointed us toward Little Italy, and lo and behold, we found what we were looking for. I was so elated, I took a picture. The tacos were just how James had described: battered white fish, pico de gillo, cabbage, and a thin white tartar sauce all wrapped in a corn tortilla. Mmmmmm…I had two. We didn’t make it home until almost midnight, and then up again at 6 AM for more Siggraph. I had a lot of fun putting together photo galleries of the Art Gallery and the Emerging Technologies, where I saw the very coolest high-tech gadget there, Microsoft Surface. Like right out of Minority Report, you could move things around the screen with your hands very intuitively. I’m sure I’ll never be able to afford one, but it’s nice to dream…

On the last day I attended a lecture all about the animation effects of Ratatouille. Most of it was very technical, but still really interesting. Sometimes I wish I’d started a career in computer animation instead of straight graphic design. Oh well. I barely made it to the airport on time, and of course my flight was delayed and I didn’t make it back home until 2AM. That short flight from San Diego to Phoenix was riveting, though. I’ve never really seen the desert, even from a plane.

So now I’m back home safe, and what’s this I hear? A tornado touched down…in Brooklyn? I finally got a chance to look it up today, and was amazed to discover it hit in Bay Ridge, which is practically next door to Bensonhurst. This photo, taken at 65th and 5th Avenue, isn’t very far from the bike shop where I bought my bike and rode it home–only about a 10 minute ride. We used to live at 72nd and 18th Ave. I can’t imagine what it’s like to ride out a storm like that in the city. New York isn’t known for having habitable basements in their buildings.

My roller-coaster of a two weeks continues this weekend. I’m flying out to Austin on Saturday to spend some time with my good friend Marisa. She’s got all sorts of craziness planned, including a Burlesque art class at Dr. Sketchy’s, and kareoke at a tranny sushi bar. I can’t wait!

new york is at it again

February 8, 2007 at 6:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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First they ban trans fat, now they want to ban stupidity. Let me get this straight–a couple of people immersed in their ipod/cell phone/blackberry were killed crossing the street in NY, and they’re blaming the ipod? I say if you’re stupid enough to ignore the cross walk, whatever you’re distracted by, it’s your own fault. Who exactly is this law supposed to benefit? People who wear ipods while walking are trying to block out their surroundings. That was always my aim in NY. Plus, it’s a good excuse to ignore people trying to talk to you. Y’know, like tourists, panhandlers, street vendors, crazy people. The usual new york fare.

Epiphany

September 29, 2006 at 5:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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When James and I first heard we’d be moving to NYC, I had these little fantasies about my new, urban life. The idea of settling down in Kansas bored me to death, and NY sounded fresh and exciting. We were going to have a tiny, but livable apartment in Brooklyn, we were going to take the subway everyday to work, we’d go to museums every weekend, and most importantly, I would be a designer at a chic, high-profile, glossy consumer magazine. The rose-colored glasses came off the day we arrived. i knew immediately it was going to be a challenge to live there, but I had faith everything would turn out ok. And it did. Just not the way I planned. Countless resumes went out, with reverberating silence. As the months passed and June turned into I-want-to-kill-myself-from-the-heat July, we realized we couldn’t stand another minute in the “City That Never Sleeps” (Or as I fondly remember it, the “City of Perpetual Smells”). Our #1 goal was to get the hell out, and by December, James had a new job in DC.

Then came my little DC fantasies. We’d live in a much bigger, much nicer apartment (though, it turned out, for more money than NY), James would happily trot the globe while I’d live it up working from home, we’d find a nice house somewhere in the ‘burbs and settle down for a few years. And yet again, I discovered nothing ever goes according to my plan. (I really should stop with the planning) I’ve been living in this constant state of “almost there”–convinced that once we had a car, or we bought a house, we’d finally feel like DC is home.

But today, for one brief moment, I realized it doesn’t really matter how much money we make, or whether we have a car, or if James has a job we can brag about. What makes me happy is Home. In all our travels, the only place that ever really felt like Home was Kansas. That place I wanted so badly to leave two years ago. All I want out of life is to see my husband every day, to eat okra at my mom and dad’s house, to watch British TV with my sis and her boyfriend, to ride my bike to work, to eat good BBQ with good friends. James wants to fence again, and be home with all his books (egad, so many books). I guess that’s my new fantasy–a life I once had, and didn’t realize I would miss so much. With any luck, we’ll have it again soon. Or something even better.

Random Musings

May 22, 2006 at 5:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Have you seen those commercials for the new KFC concoction? Looks like something i would have come up with in college…”Let’s see, I’ve got mashed potatoes, chicken strips, gravy, corn…and only one clean bowl.” in fact, I think I did a similar thing with Manwich and tater tots. Don’t ask.

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I’ve been missing New York lately. Not the mice infestation, the constant smell, and hordes of annoying tourists, but I do miss certain things. Like meeting James after work and going out to our favorite Indian restaurant. Like walking through Union Square in the mornings and picking up fresh fruit. Like simply walking through the city, admiring architecture and people-watching.

———————-

I’ve been watching so much TV lately, it’s ridiculous. I’m afraid I’m going to suffer withdrawal symptoms from all the shows that will be in repeat this summer. I might have to (yikes!) find something constructive to do with my evenings. Maybe I’ll take the camera out for some sunset/nighttime pics of the monuments. I need a hobby that makes being home fun. Stay tuned…I may get creative.

———————-

James leaves for Thailand on May 30th, and won’t be back for 2 months. I’m not sure this news has really sunk in for me yet. I’m sure after awhile I’ll get used to this.

Got out of Dodge just in time…

December 20, 2005 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m trying to fathom how I could possibly have gotten to work today if I was still living in New York. I’d say it would take me about 45 minutes to bike up to the Brooklyn Bridge, wade through the sea of people on the bridge, and another 30-45 minutes making my way up to Chelsea on Manhattan. It took my co-worker Trevor that long to walk from Greenpoint in Brooklyn, which is normally a 20-minute subway-ride. And add to that the winter chill. No fun at all.

In fact, it’s interesting how we managed to avoid every NY catastrophe in our time there. We moved post 9-11, post black out, and we were out of town during that scare at Penn Station. And then this. Someone’s looking out for us, I guess.

I did get a brief flicker of panic this morning when i heard about the strike on the clock radio. The move still hasn’t sunk in. But I plan to remedy that on Friday–our office is closed, and I’m going on a field trip. I’m sure I can find a suitable Smithsonian museum to entertain me. And if I can talk that husband of mine into actually doing anything, we might venture to old town Alexandria on Friday night. I hear the lights are pretty.

Last Day

December 9, 2005 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Strange to see the cubicle so bare. (Cough), and dusty…

This morning left me with no doubts about wanting to leave. No hot water left cuz our upstairs neighbors got up early and used it all. Had to hoof it down the street to the subway in the sleet with leaky snow boots. The train was, of course, delayed because of the weather. Then the Salvation Army pickup canceled on me, so we’ve got a huge pile of crap we’ll just have to leave at the curb. And I’m fairly certain we’re going to run out of boxes.

Any number of things will probably go wrong in the next couple of days, but what’s getting me through is the knowledge that we’re moving somewhere better. A place where we have full command of our thermostat. Where we’re the only ones using up our hot water. Where winter wind doesn’t come whistling through the back door. Where the subway isn’t host to fragrant panhandlers. Where commuting won’t matter to us because I’ll be working from home, and James will be working abroad half of the year.

So long, New York City. I can’t say I’ll miss you much, but I’m glad I gave you a shot.

New York, the last hoorah

December 6, 2005 at 1:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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4 days, 92 minutes, 48 seconds till we’re on the road to Washington. Er, not that I’m counting…

Despite my negative musings, there will be some things I’m going to miss about New York. Right now I’m chowing on some sushi from downstairs–and from the looks of it, there aren’t any sushi restaurants within walking distance of the new place. Tonight I’m off to ACME, a cajun place I haven’t tried before, for a going-away dinner with friends Teresa and Kelly. Even though I didn’t see them that much this year (with an hour train-ride home, I seldom ventured out late), I’ll definitely be missing their company. Some other things I’ll miss:

–Going over the Manhattan Bridge and seeing lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge everyday from the subway.

–Looking up 5th Avenue to see the Empire State Building every morning.

–the convenience of having multiple 99 cent stores, bodegas, chinese take-out and italian eateries just feet from my front door.

–the museums, particularly MOMA, the Met, the Transit Museum, and the Tenement Museum.

–the food, particularly Arriba Arriba, Kiran, Gino’s Foccoceria, Villabate and the vietnamese place by our house. Oh, and the sushi-man downstairs 🙂

–riding my bike along the water and seeing ships come into the harbor.

–walking down the tree-lined street from the subway in Brooklyn on snowy evenings and admiring the Christmas decorations.

–walking down my street in the summer when everyone is out on their front stoop, and hearing 5 different languages as I pass by (Italian, Chinese, Russian, Indian, and occasionally English)

Adventures in Christmas shopping

December 2, 2005 at 10:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s official, we’ve only got one week left in New York, and then we’re off a for a new life in our nation’s capital. And while I’m not exactly sad to go, I am longing for some uniquely “New York” experiences before we head out. So tonight I went shopping at the grandaddy department store of them all: Macy’s.

Actually, first, let me recount the journey there. I took the subway up to Herald Square, an area I’m not very familiar with as I tend to avoid the touristy areas, and somehow instead of exiting on the street, I found myself in a massive, subterranean shopping mall. There was a brooks brothers, a gap, a massive food court, and apparently no visible exits. After poking around a bit, I finally found the exit three floors up. Glad to be free from this strangely vertical shopping complex (felt like a regular mall upended), I made my way out to Broadway and 34th street. And what a sight! People, lights, hot dog stands, more people, every conceivable clothier known to man. And people, did I mention people?

And there, on the corner in all its grandeur, stood Macy’s, the largest department store in the world. And they weren’t kidding–there were 8 or 9 floors, and it was at least four city blocks, I’d say. They arrange the clothes by designer, so right away I could tell I wasn’t going to be able to afford anything. $68 for a t-shirt? Pffttt.

Then, on my way out, I noticed this antique wooden escalator that went down to “The Cellar”. Curious, I took a ride down, and discovered a cornucopia of gleaming kitchen wares, small appliances, and an entire corner devoted to fine chocolate. This was more like it! After admiring the fancy dishes, I started looking for the way back up, and for the second time in one night found myself hunting fruitlessly for an exit. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!

rant

November 16, 2005 at 8:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Get me out of this stinking shit hole! Why is that every time it rains, the city completely shuts down? And to make my day complete, it was 70 degrees at 3 pm today, and when I was shivering on the stupid subway platform for 20 minutes without a jacket this evening, it was 50. So, typically, it’s cold and rainy and the subway I was taking home suddenly converted to an Express train, and I had to get off one stop before I needed to. I decided to go downstairs and huddle with the masses out of the wind, then I fought my way back up to the next train that came along, only to find out that it, too, was running Express. Foregoing the option of walking home 2 miles in the pouring, freezing, sideways rain, I managed to find my way to a different train that, of course, took forever to come, and only had to walk half a mile home. Only took me about an hour and half. I guess I should be grateful….

There’s no place like DC, there’s no place like DC, there’s not place like DC….

Saturday

November 15, 2005 at 5:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Went to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in an attempt to inject myself with culture, or something. Our days in New York are numbered, so I’m trying to get as much out of this city as I can. It was an impressive little establishment, though only a few works I recognized. They had a huge Egyptian exhibit, but what interested me the most was a special photography installation called “Manufactured Landscapes”. This photographer took all these photos of landfills, oil refineries, rock quarries, and the like–what most people wouldn’t consider art–and made it hauntingly beautiful. I spent most of my afternoon perusing these photos.

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