June 30, 2008


Here it is - the toy kitchen. The photo is terrible with tons of noise, but that's because I'm not having luck with figuring out lighting photos in poorly lit situations and white balance and I'm not reading up on it because I've been so busy...additionally, I think a lens upgrade will motivate me to learn more, considering lens upgrades cost more than the camera bodies themselves. We stopped at Best Buy on our way home tonight so that Craig could buy some kind of superior audio/visual cable (much of which we won't experience in full until we upgrade to Blue Ray, which is within several months of happening) and he also bought me Juno (finally we own it!) and I manhandled a bunch of dSLR's upstairs in the camera department, now that I own one and can compare. I am fond of the D40. I did not like the option ring on the D60. And Canons? All of the Canons were just not even worth eyeballing. So anyway, I spotted a few lens options and all were priced higher than my D40 kit itself. Tons of reviewers of photography equipment lecture the same lecture over and over, that the Equipment Does Not Make the Photographer, with which I mostly agree, but I also tend to think that investing money in a hobby fuels motivation.*Tonight I was prepared to make my chicken, orzo, mushroom and Asiago dish (although I currently only have Romano on hand - decent substitute) however Craig and I commuted home together and he easily talked me into Jasmine. We were being chased from Best Buy to Jasmine by such thick and ominous clouds, but it never did rain, so we ate our Thai food in the warm damp atmosphere of Jasmine - were they saving energy by not running A/C?? Then we trudged home in more humidity, and now Craig is determined to figure out the cabling and the audio of our home theater system. Oh, I also somewhat manhandled a Macbook at Best Buy. Of course, I would never, ever, ever in a trillion years buy a Mac from anywhere but an Apple store, but I did just want to pound the keypad a little, lift the thing, and just basically make physical contact with a future purchase (having also seen Jeff's). I'm pretty confident that this coming year will be the Year of the Upgrade, meaning, Craig and I can finally approach replacing many of our tattered and worn belongings with new. By no means is our Dell on the outs - so a Macbook is not an upgrade (while some might argue otherwise!) But the couch purchase, perhaps an arm chair...the Blue Ray machine...we would just like to treat ourselves to a few things we've not been able to treat ourselves to in the past. We're not really superficial or material-needy people, but some luxuries would be nice. Ok, like living in Manhattan is not a luxury, in and of itself!! I know.*

June 29, 2008


We are certifiably (sp?) the most tired couple in New York tonight. It's nearing 9.30 and I feel as though 9 whole days have passed, just today. We woke up so early, primarily because there was no window treatment on our bedroom window so we were doomed to bright-eyed 6 a.m. sunshine streaming in. Then we proceeded to physically and emotionally (emotionally me only) shut down our first NYC apartment. Craig painted the orange wall back to white, we packed last minute stuff, I internally bawled and we moved out, essentially, completely, today. Yes, in fact, our keys to that place are in an envelope shoved into a slot somewhere. Oh, New York. The thing about living here in New York is that every breathing living second counts for something. You never just let a second drift past. Each memory is constantly preserved in your memory because at this point, your memory is compact because you live compact, and in fact the things you do are quite compact. You work, you eat, you breathe, you laugh, you live. Then you do it all again but you do not forget each previous breath, or laugh. Finding New York and loving it has changed Craig and me in a way I cannot explain. We expect more. We need more. We await an adventure as exciting as the ones we have here on a normal day! Oh, NY. Oh, okay, so it's time for me to work a little more before bed. Our dishwasher seems to have operated like a dream! And there's my Jade, all living and alive. She likes this new place. She'll get more light than if she lived outside!*Cheers.


above: old view from window; below: new
It's Sunday morning and we're moved, for the most part. Thursday night we received the keys unofficially so that we could get into the new apartment to build our pantry shelving that we purchased at the Container Store. Well, Craig did this while I slowly moved kitchen items down the street. There was some brief struggling with the shelving but once it was built, we were both impressed and in awe of the possibilities! Friday morning we woke up super early and got things going. I moved a ton of stuff while Craig primed and painted the new walls for our rust orange color. It was really quite the way to move, packing boxes and unpacking and organizing them box by box versus having everything piled in boxes all at once. We made great progress Friday so we treated ourselves to Taco Taco guacamole and enchiladas and hibiscus margaritas and Pacificos. This weekend is the Subway Series so we decided to catch a few innings at Genesis with a couple of beers. Alas, halfway through our first pints, our eyes were drooping and we concluded we couldn't stay out much longer. By 9 o'clock we were in bed! Saturday morning we shot up early again and tried to get things in good order before our friends were to arrive. Jeff and Lauren showed up, followed closely by Amanda and then Scott and Alison. They were such great help - much appreciated! There was a lot of grunting and sweat over one of the bigger dressers but overall, success was ours. The guys even swiftly pulled off the transfer of the 50" television, which worried me the most. So, we're about 98% of the way in now, with a few odds and ends left at our old place and the rest of today to wrap up the move. I feel pretty confident that we can gain control over the remaining boxes today. I didn't photo document the move as I predicted I might, but it's probably best because most of us didn't look exactly glamorous in our sweaty brows. Anyway, many thanks to our moving crew - we will be hosting an apartment warming party for them once we're settled and we've established some ownership of the place. The pantry is the shining star of the apartment thus far, but we're loving the amount of light in the living room and even our bedroom seems to be working out better here. We hope to have the second bedroom clear for Brian and Julie's visit this weekend. We won't have our new couch yet (there are still size logistics unresolved) but at least we can fit the air mattress in there for them so that they can have their own room while in town. Yesterday Alison kept saying over and over again that she completely understood why we moved down the street and that this apartment is tons of times better. I agree. The possibilities are a little wider open here. Well, after posting a mechanical response to the move (sorry for the lack of typical KB gushing...I'm exhausted and there is lots more to be done) I'm off to work again! Two things to note about the move: 1. Every item we own seems to have just fit perfectly somehow, from dressers to overhead rubbermaid bins! and 2. We managed to just miss the torrential downpours yesterday. I was relieved. Off to kiss our old apartment goodbye and embrace the new...thanks again a million to our good friends Jeff, Lauren, Amanda, Alison and Scott for their muscles and support. It was great to see them all, even in such sweaty circumstance!

June 25, 2008


To further procrastinate matters, last night we went to the Mets game. We had tickets from a guy who has a friend who...blah blah...and sat approximately five rows back from the field, anticipating a great time, only, the Mets can't seem to keep it together. They were playing the Seattle Mariners and it was...embarrassing, at best. But, we enjoyed Tuna Tartare and Southwestern Spring Rolls before the game in the Diamond Club, then moved to our awesome seats and fought to see over the waving arms and arms raising toddlers in the air of all the patrons seated in rows 1-4 (let me tell you, enjoying baseball over all of those arms and babies is HARD!) but in the end, even armed (so to speak) with the Nikon, I still had trouble shooting sports photos. I attempted continuous shooting mode multiple (so to speak) times, and things went well, but not decent enough to post. So, instead of any celeb sports stars at bat, I'm choosing to post an old stadium (Shea) with a new (Citi Field) in its backdrop (and by the way, that sky is not doctored, it was really that blue), a corner of Shea with Airplane, and the crazy giant headed mascot who smiles endlessly, Mr. Met. He freaks me out, but this shot was at safe distance.*Tonight, we headed to the Container Store for Craig's engineered pantry shelves. Everything went well with the exception that the "top track" of Craig's design had two too many inches on its length, so we had to make a few in-store provisions. No matter...we ordered what we wanted, were told we needed to wait 45 minutes for some shelving cuts, so we went to a hot little Cuban restaurant at like 60th and 3rd. We shared a cheap bottle of wine and each ordered plates full of meat (Cuban food is not for the meat-weary) then returned to the Container Store for our stuff. We then battled out the door (I begged Craig not to maim anyone with the longer parts) and grabbed a cab to come home. Now, all that remains with regard to the new pantry is for us to get the keys to the new place tomorrow night and for Craig to build it inside the closet that will become my kitchen pantry. Tomorrow is our last day of work for the week, but by no means our last day of work for the week. We are going to be busy, busy, busy these next few days! Luckily Jeff, Lauren, Alison, Scott and Amanda have extended their offers to help!*Tonight when we got home, I called my parents and Craig called his younger sis. After all phones were hung up, Craig told me that his sister has ordered an enlarged b&w photo that I took in South Carolina and they have plans to have it framed - and maybe she wants my signature when we see them in August!! Kara has no idea how happy that made me today (thanks, KB!) and how much that makes me want to keep roughing it with the Nikon, if not shooting intentional photos, possibly happy accidental ones. The thought of one of my images becoming a framed piece in their home elates me!! And I know that in part, it's because we were all there together, and having a photo as a memory is a wonderful way not to forget. But either way, I thank her for the gesture! I think it made Craig happy, too.*Craig is watching some Treasures Disney movie sequel, and I'm going to think about heading off to bed soon. Beginning tomorrow, we are unleashing a huge weekend of physical (and emotional!) labor. The thing is, I wouldn't want any of this, would not want to do any of this, if it were not for him. He stirs all of the adventure in me. Thanks, CB!*

June 23, 2008


above: the "master" or "main" bedroom. tiny, eh?
one of the reasons i love this place...the light, oh, the light.
they're still cleaning. that is not our stuff.
can you say Hideous kitchen tile art? why? oh, why??
i bet i could make some mini muffins in this kitchen.
the view from our new bedroom. looks like a lot of fun windows and white brick.
Ohhh no. Craig is not happy! We managed to get the keys to the new place tonight - I walked to 82nd with all of this exuberance, the management ladies handed me the keys, and of course, the keys didn't work once I got back to our street and we tried to let ourselves in. So Craig talked to our super, and he had another key which worked, and Craig's doom filled the new apartment like this huge cloud. Oh. Okay, there are problems, surely. But he's quick to forget how awful our place now seemed with none of our stuff in it. Maybe we made a hasty decision, but I will not back down from it...Craig has spent most of the night engineering our new shelving plan for our "pantry". And I whipped up some mean delicious stuffed shells to help us celebrate the new place...the apartment Craig seems to loathe!!! I have a lot of faith that once we get moved in, he will change his tune. Seriously, when we moved into this apartment, which we so adore, early on he felt like we were entering some sort of weird pilgrimmage of small apartment living. But he's since grown to love the place. Hopefully the same will apply to the new apartment!*I don't want to reveal that I fear that the couch we want to buy will by no means fit down the 35" hallway of the building much less the 31" hallway of our apartment. Are there other means of stuffing furniture through small corridors? Can we lean it to one side and make it happen?? Oh, who knows...who knows that this is the right thing to do. We sort of lucked out with our first Manhattan apartment. It pretty much rocks. And now we're headed down the street...I hope it proves to be worth our while. Oh, I hope!

June 22, 2008


above: the 2nd "bedroom"...below, our hallway stairs...

above: apartment building facade as seen from our window in the 2nd bedroom...below: boxes
below: an orange wall that will have to be painted its original white.
Well, here we are, our last weekend in our first New York City apartment. Friday night we saw the Cure at Madison Square Garden after eating Korean and Japanese at a nifty Korean restaurant on W. 32nd and Broadway. The show was pretty good - they're mellow, much of their work, anyway, so it's not like a fist-pumping adventure the way REM was or, say, the Raconteurs or White Stripes. And to be in a huge arena with nothing but Robert Smith's painfully sad voice was pretty incredible. I recognized 95 percent of the show, with the exception of a few new tunes. We've wrapped up our vintage concert tour now (the Breeders, REM and the Cure, all in one month!) and Saturday morning decided to focus on the task at hand: packing. The motivation lasted up until about 1 or so, primarily because the weather was unbelievable and how could we pass up taking the Nikon on a big sunny date to the West Side? So, we headed out around 2. The walk was nice. It's amazing that it only takes something like 20 minutes to cross the Park on foot. We ate beautiful chicken salads (Craig's was filled with fruits - strawberries, green apple slices, grapefruit, grapes, orange slices, while mine had avocado, tomatoes, and bleu cheese) but were still hungry, so we stopped at a Japanese place for sake, Sapporo and spicy tuna roll. I laughed and pointed out to Craig that a couple of friends of ours from Indiana might get a kick out of us stopping for sushi on a bar crawl versus, say, Buffalo wings. Craig said that it was a very "Craig and Kristi thing to do". Then we found another bar with outdoor seating and planned to have one beer there, only, we wound up talking to some people at a table next to us and became friends instantly. So, instead of hopping around, we hung out with them the rest of the day and into the night. It was fun, and it's always interesting to find out how small NYC is (Corey, one of the people, lives with his wife on 94th and 3rd, which makes us neighbors!) But today it was back to business. We've gotten quite a bit done, about as much as we feel we can do because we have one more week to live here. We don't want to render ourselves or our place unliveable, obviously. So we organized, built boxes, packed, then broke for burgers at Genesis, and Craig headed to Ace for cleaning supplies and I am happily taking the night off from cooking, tonight. That's interesting to me because this marks the last week that I actually have a very operative kitchen in which to cook - our new one is practically impossible although I intend to make a point to Craig, who worries about its miniature size, by cooking as much there as I do here, hey, if not more!...so anyway, I would think I'd soak up this last week of kitchen time, but in actuality, today I want to tackle the bedroom. Oh, the dreaded bedroom. There is stuff hiding in there in ways I did not know were possible. Underneath the bed, in particular, warrants some serious devotion. I have things shoved under there from two years ago that have not budged from when we initially moved in here - what am I keeping that is that important?? So, I spent some more time with the Nikon today and with posting, but the remainder of Sunday must yield productivity in the realm of organization. We're excited to land in a new home. It will be so brand new yet with all the comforts of home (meaning, the neighborhood amenities we've so grown to love).

June 19, 2008


The jade lives! Look at her go...it's like she never went through the ugly trauma of an attempted re-pot. There are still stalks headed out away from the rest of the plant, but I've found that the central portion of the thing just remembered how to grow upright out of the soil. Nice! It's taken some time, but I guess I need to go back and re-name my early photography series. It was never a Dead Jade to begin with!*I'm not supposed to be posting right now. I have chained myself to some old college notebooks tonight and to Microsoft Word to splash some old KB poetry history across blank pages in attempt to get some material ready for Sharon next week. But I'm here posting because I think I did well! I have like 8 pages of stuff now. Now, it is a matter of reading all of it two days from now and groaning and rubbing my head and realizing what a terrible poet I was as a teenager and into my early twenties! But it's neat to see what my brain was up to in like 1996. I was pretty in tune with what people said, casually. I used to write down some of the most profound (rather, what I found to be profound!) things that I would hear people say. And then I would run off with that. An art prof that I have labeled simply as "Jacob" made the books quite frequently. I remember him well - he was my color theory prof. He treated art very academically. Art was not a free-for-all concept, to him. He was gripped by the science of art, instead.*Anyway, I had to come post quickly, primarily because as I floated off to the old word world where I used to reside, mentally, I almost lost my practical 30-something self. And nothing brings a floating 30-something crashing back like a blog post.*It nears 9.30, and I have to review the many pages of what I've typed. I don't owe Sharon anything for like 5 days, so perhaps I can put together something by then! Wonders never cease.*Meanwhile, tomorrow night Craig and I see The Cure at Madison Square Garden. I have a painting of Robert Smith that is half finished that I did at age 16 or 17. Mr. Jones, my high school art teacher, liked it unfinished. And I might be able to be the only Robert Smith fan who can claim 10.15 on a Saturday Night to be her favorite song. I don't know - maybe there are others who can endure the ongoing "drip drip drip drip drip drip drip" etc. of live performances of the song?*Saturday morning begins the self-served house arrest. We have so much to do, just, unbelievably. We're so ill prepared to move right now. I can't believe I'm sitting in an unpacked oversized closet right now, for instance! But it will happen. And of course, as is the trend, it will be photographed in its entirety!

June 17, 2008


Today my friend Jeff sent me a link to his boss' photographs and wow, was I wowed. I suppose I don't understand slash believe how this guy can shoot photographs that raw right through a lens, and, if in fact he can and does, I want to know with what camera body and with what lens! I won't link him here simply because he may be more private (although he's all over the web - I don't want to abuse the fact that Jeff sent me the link) but I will say, his contrasting colors and manipulated light are nothing like I've seen before - which is why I believe he Photoshops everything he shoots. Jeff will confirm this fact or deny it for me soon. So, because I was frustrated with the beauty of this guy's imagery and the fact that basic composition is what it is (although, I would say that this guy toys with composition via color and contrast, which is an interesting spin on composition) (um, in digital photography, not in art as a whole!), I decided to fool around with the Nikon D40 tonight, yielding mundane and dissatisfactory results. I could be in a lens rut, considering I only own the kit lens, the 18-55mm one sans Vibration Reduction and made of plastic. Then again, maybe the D40 was a haphazard purchase if I want to get creative with photography. Or perhaps I just don't know the thing well enough and tonight, considering it couldn't do any better (or I couldn't!) than the above with color and contrast, I felt like kickboxing it out the window. But then again, after reading more on the D40 today, it really is a beginner's dSLR, which poses all the challenge I can handle right now! Either way, Jeff's friend's photo link was inspiring and will keep me reminded of what the color wheel has to offer, and what playful things can happen when a person knows how to operate a more complicated piece of machinery.*Tonight has been uneventful. I spent way too much time chopping vegetables for salad, way too much time on the Penne Vodka, and even more time than both combined cleaning the kitchen. Craig packed a box and now is watching a guy movie (thank goodness - too many chick flicks that required my attention were showing up in the mail from Netflix!!) and I'm going to write one poem, then go to sleep. It's hard to juggle a full day followed by a swollen evening. I wish it happened in a more evenly distributed fashion. If only.

June 16, 2008


Tonight Craig and I ran around snapping photographs of the apartment with the Nikon while I had meatloaf and potatoes happening in the kitchen. We didn't come up with much because neither of us focused (so to speak) on the task, but we just wanted a few last images of our first New York apartment. We tried to capture the orange wall - hey, orange wall! - and the swell organization of our living room shelves, and the basic interior design we employed in the apartment, at least in this room. Our other rooms are too cluttered to capture in photos, at this time. Speaking of organization - I swear, I gave the 2nd bedroom my all tonight in terms of packing and organizing, but it's still a giant (miniature) mass of disorganization. Living in Manhattan in our first apartment with such slight real estate, I've come to maximize the use of dresser drawers. In other words, my dresser drawers are a train wreck! I've got piles and piles of unused clothing and old fiction and several stacks of tax returns just kind of piled in these drawers. Whoa, moving is kind of a mess. I forgot, I guess. It has, after all, been two years since we've done this! Anyway, I did fill two boxes tonight. Craig did, also. So we're up to four whole boxes between the two of us and maybe we'll just throw everything else out. Ha! Right. I just hope that when we swing open the door of the new apartment (it will be heavily photographically documented, trust me!) we're as excited for a new apartment layout as we were back when we saw it. When I lay eyes on a kitchen smaller than the palm of my hand, I might freak out. Let's just see it unfold, the whole thing - the move, the reaction, and the transition from one building to another down the street!!*

June 15, 2008


Fishing boat...did not take the Nikon D out to Long Island because of concert camera restrictions
...so we snuck the Olympus out with us. Fish at a fish market...below, these little guys are alive in there. Craig poked at a few and one even tried to snatch Craig's finger in a claw!
Yesterday was one of the greatest days, ever. I apply superlative characteristics to many things, which is pointed out to me on occasion, but still - I'd re-live yesterday in a heartbeat. Friday, Craig and I ate dinner and drank wine at Nina's, with a flan on the house compliments of Gracie (owner). Saturday morning we woke up and geared up to travel to the Long Island Rail Road. We weren't timing things very efficiently, as we usually do, but it didn't matter - we wound up on a train to Freeport, Long Island by about 1.30. The trip to Freeport is quick - I bought a People because what I'm finding more and more is that when I've got little slips of transportation time, I better kill that time with mindless magazine reading than anything else. I'm going to be working to correct that by replacing magazines with books again. Either way, the train ride was quick. We got out at the Freeport station and experienced slightly annoying complications with getting a car service, but later I realized I was more or less concerned about the unknown (were we going to get a car from the lady who placed calls to dispatch her drivers?? When?) but once we were seated in a driver's backseat, I felt relieved. The driver took us to this street in Freeport nicknamed the Nautical Mile, and despite the bright sun, Craig and I managed to sit outside at most of the places we ducked into. The air was swollen with the smell of fish - many of the boats docked were similar in appearance to the above posted photograph - rickety, rusty, almost unsafe! but it seemed so very New England out there. Craig and I both noticed the New England feel of the place instantly. We had our first beer at a place called Jeremy's Ale House, out back on the deck. I can't explain precisely why this place seemed so unique, but there is definitely personality to Jeremy's. It felt like walking onto a movie set, similar to a dive you'd find in a movie taking place in a remote New England location. We ate outside at the next place - Craig ordered a seared tuna wrap with wasabi mayo and I ordered the lobster roll. Sea food, fish air, boats drifting by, cold beer...it was all very overwhelming and perfect. Craig said it felt like we were on vacation, even. I agree. During lunch, Craig kicked the table and my Blue Moon did a slow motion tip and perfectly streamed across the table to drench his lap! Oops. And we met some guy who dances all over the Nautical Mile - he's an older guy named Rocco. He was a hoot. He reminded me of Beatle Bob only older. I will have to tell Roger and Mary that I met Long Island's version of Beatle Bob (a St. Louis dancing machine we knew from our live concert-going, when living there.) After lunch, we traveled further down the street and found a mostly open bar with a live cover band. They had a small dog tethered to their speaker leg, and he seemed to enjoy being friendly with the bar patrons. I'm not sure how well his little ears liked the cymbals. The band was pretty decent at what they covered, really. Craig and I had a couple of beers at this place, then moved along and found another place. We were getting close to time to head to Jones Beach, to the ampitheater, so we returned to the place with the live band and ate a dreadfully tasty basket of fried food, then called another car to drive us to Jones Beach. We had been given VIP passes by someone at work, which was great because Jones Beach, unless you're in the VIP section, is a dry venue! I had no idea that such a thing existed - and while I admire the principle of it, we also appreciated access to beer under the VIP tent! So, a band from Brooklyn called The National opened. They were alright. We stayed at the VIP tent to hear them. Then we moved to our seats for Modest Mouse. They sounded good, but Craig and I only really know two of their songs. We probably could have heard them, if not for the performance Mother Nature displayed to counter the Modest Mouse performance...lightning striking! heavy rains! thunder!...and Modest Mouse was pulled off stage and Jones Beach Theater was evacuated. No! REM! They couldn't cancel our show, right? Nope - we simply endured approximately two hours of waiting and then the lightning subsided, and the fans filled their seats again and when Craig and I made it down to ours, REM was midway through South Central Rain...appropros, obviously! The next two hours were sheer amazement for me. I could not believe how timeless and ageless Michael Stipe seems. His stage persona is nothing short of brilliant. Buck and Mills were amazing support. They played such a perfect blend of old and new, plucking songs from lots of different REM albums - they even played what Stipe announced was an "unrehearsed" "It's the End of the World as We Know It..." and the crowd roared. What was extra memorable, and what will stick with me forever as I remember the polished quality of this event, was that we stood, all of us in attendance, in roughly two hours of rain to cheer them on. Craig and I (well, and everyone else there, of course!) were drenched, to the bone, every last bit of our clothing, from the rain. But somehow, it just fit. It felt right to watch their set unfold through a curtain of thick rain, as if the universe wanted to step up and debate everything he stands for and has to say, but the universe couldn't win the argument. Oh, it was a glorious experience. Craig, at some point, expressed to me that they might rock as hard as a couple of other of his favorite, most favorite bands! Oh, they so did, for us yesterday. My only, if any, mark of disappointment is that they did not sing "Leaving New York", which is basically my sad anthem when I begin to worry we might not stay here forever.*I was reminded, last night, of how all of my years spent flooding my ears with song will just keep evolving but will also not let me forget the material that changed my life. I know of Kristin Hersh because of REM, and she's just about the best thing to ever have happened to a song lyric/guitar chord, if anyone asks me. Anyway, the day was perfect and the night was soaked, so to speak, in positive vibes. We took a bus back with a lot of other wet fans to the Freeport train, and on our ride back, Craig and I listened to one iPod together, sharing ear buds and song selection. We took a cab back to 91st and 2nd, dropped into Biddy's for a couple of beers, then came home by 3. Oh, what a day. These are the things that New York just freely offers - chances at building memories, going on adventures, finding unexpected interesting corners. Well, today has just flown by. I've accomplished a lot but now it's time to cook dinner - Cheddar and Adobo Chile Pasta, Spicy Black Beans and salad - and then I'm hoping to resolve a few more issues with books I plan to sacrifice for space when we move. I managed to delete about 12 today...three books of letters - Katherine Anne Porter, Marianne Moore and Radclyffe Hall - and a few miscellaneous titles that I'm not sure why I own?? So the small bookshelf in this second bedroom has two empty shelves of three. It feels like forever away that we're moving to a new apartment but in actuality, it's so soon! Next weekend is devoted only and entirely to packing/organizing. I hope to remove quite a few items from this apartment and deposit them at the nearby Goodwill. It's time for a fresh outlook. New perspective is always a good thing!*Off to be culinary. I hope Sunday evening slows down a little bit. I've only got a couple of hours left!

June 11, 2008


By all means, this is one of the worst-lit photographs I've taken so far with the Nikon. I tried several different options, with and without flash, but after doctoring it in the photo edit program accompanying the camera, I came up with a way to somewhat semi-represent the positively healthy bowl of greens I made as a side to our wild mushroom pasta dish tonight (disregard the washed out cucumber slices - the flesh of this cucumber was actually nearer white than soft green). I love salads and making them - I love the color opportunities and I will tell anyone that creating a salad is like painting a canvas. You have innumerable colors to choose from to create what will ultimately be this gorgeous array of organic and crisp textures. I've loved making salads for a long time - I can remember loving it in college, when I barely had enough money to scrape together to pay for a red pepper in addition to the lettuce. Anyway, today was a bad day for me. I wasn't in the best mood when I arrived at work, and then work stepped in and kicked me right in the head. But I muddled through, and tonight I even managed to sneak out a little early to grab postage from our USPS at 3rd Ave so that our fathers receive their Dad's Day cards less than two days late. What do you know but the postage book machines were both Out of Order, so I had to wait in line for a human. I informed the human that finally called me forward that the machines were Out of Order. He knew, he said. He said, In fact, we're doing away with those entirely because they never work (slash, Good luck ever getting stamps again, lady, cause you're gonna hafta wait in line from here to eternity just for overpriced ugly books of stamps!) Then I traveled to Hallmark, which is conveniently located on the same block as the post office. There, I waited for a hundred seconds while a girl stood centered exactly in front of the only 5-card wide block of Father's Day cards. I also nearly climbed the rack to move out of the way for a guy who thought wheeling a 2-kid stroller through that narrow aisle was appropriate. In fact, he even said Excuse me in a biting way that would suggest disgust, as if the girl hovering over the Father's Day cards and the girl waiting for her to move (me) were totally just inappropriately placed in the teensy Hallmark store. I selected cards quickly enough, finally, for my dad and for Craig's, but then I had to battle Key Food for items for the above poorly shown salad. Key Food was like a madhouse, for some reason. Wednesday night, 6 p.m.? Really? I hate Key Food's produce aisle but heck, at least I know it well and can locate shallots and leeks easily as needed. I finally made it through the Key Food checkout line, and there, as I emerged from the sliding glass doors, was the ever-evolving 2nd Avenue Subway Construction to greet me, with a truck dumping fill over some underground utility pipes and a safety guy holding people back from walking across the street. Great. The perfect conclusion to a perfectly annoying errand run! Once home, I felt so much clearer, in my head and so forth. Now, I have some other minor things to do, but I think going to bed on time or even early is in order, given that we were out at The Breeders' concert last night (awesome!) and didn't get as much sleep last night as we would have wished. Cheers. Here's to a long stretch of sleep ahead.

June 08, 2008


It's been a really amazing weekend. Not only is it difficult to embrace Sunday nights for obvious reasons, but it's particularly upsetting to wave goodbye to a memorable weekend. Friday night we headed to Astoria armed with a red and a white wine to visit our friends Eric and Lynne. Eric is a painter and we've decided we would like to hang something of his behind our new couch (the one that we haven't yet bought!) so he invited us to their apartment so that we could dine and discuss art. Their apartment is absolutely adorable - it's precisely the kind of place I would imagine young artsy New Yorkers to live in, and it's even sans a television, which I admire although I know that wouldn't work out for us, as sitcom and drama-hungry as we are after a long day at work! Anyway, they had all of their windows thrown wide open and Friday evening's breeze was cool coming in and their curtains are gauzy and pretty and were just blowing gently. Eric and Lynne made us chicken cordon bleu, mesclun salad and corn cakes with chives. Lynne also offered us two cannolis each from a famous bakery around their way - delicious! It was really a wonderful several hours that we spent there, discussing Eric's unique construction landscape (if I may call it that) which is in progress, Lynne's dance company, our work, modern art and really just whatever came up - Eric convincingly sold Craig on an argument for Mondrian, which is Craig's least favorite artist showcased, as he said, at every museum we have ever been to (I remembered, while Eric spoke, just how intuitive he has always been on the subject of art, since we were teenage college students learning the beginnings of shape, color, composition control and visual texture from the Masters). I flashed my Nikon D40 to them, which impressed Eric because he very much likes digital SLR's also but does not yet have one. It was a really nice time - great conversation, good background music, delicious food and Spanish wine (as I explained to them, now that we've been to one Spanish wine tasting, we believe ourselves to be pros!) Following dinner and more conversation, Craig and I left their company around 11.30 and lucked upon a cab which had us back in the neighborhood in no time. We decided to duck into Biddy's for "one" beer, which turned rapidly into too many, since Corey (the tender oftentimes when we're there) gives us every third beer free (we're nabe favorites at all of our haunts). Craig was beginning to become a little sleepy so we struck up a game that I titled, simply, "Music Game" ("inventive, KB," he said) wherein each time a new song played on the jukebox, two points could be awarded - one for artist, one for song title - a take on Name That Tune only accompanied by beer and a loud crowd at the bar! I was really rocking for a while but then Craig took the lead with a Tom Petty song - I made a turnaround with The Cure, "Friday I'm in Love" but he came back and beat me by two points, at the end! We were out until three, which, for us anymore, is practically like staying out all night. Saturday we stayed in bed way too long, but still wound up hitting the road for our Brooklyn adventure by eleven. We drank Jamba Juice Acai smoothies for breakfast and took the 4 to the Brooklyn Bridge station. What followed was just a lot of walking. We walked the whole bridge, which neither of us had yet done before!, and found the Telectoscope Exhibit that Laura told us about last weekend - we have a date to see her next Sunday from the London side!! - and walked around DUMBO, found a totally beautiful mixed use space called "Retreat" with "Rebar" upstairs in a converted loft space (gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous) and had iced coffees - then we returned to Manhattan for the barbecue festival taking place in and around Madison Square Park. We ate barbecue from The Checkered Pig and Blue Smoke, and by this time, the sun was blasting down. My skin is quite pink. Hmm, well it isn't like me to abruptly end a blog post, but more details will follow with more photos from our weekend. For now, Indian food has arrived and we're having Movie Night Sunday with Lars and the Real Girl and 27 Dresses...I promised Craig. He likes Movie Night very much. To come: beers with Jeff Devine, Long Island City madness with Jeff Devine!...

June 05, 2008


The funny thing is that I posed these bottles to utilize the "macro" feature of my camera, which is less functional with an 18-55mm lens than with another more "macro" lens, but I wound up not even setting the mode to that - instead, played again with really large apertures manually. These pictures are boring and trite, but I learned from them. A while back, in my writing studies, I read, and heard from Sharon an echo of the same sentiment, to ask Why? It's a simple question loaded with possibilities. For instance, employing enjambent: why? What is the role of that last word of a line followed by its successor on the next line? Did it contribute to the rhythm? What was its purpose? Or for instance take a fiction character and place him or her in a setting - why? What is important about placing that character there at that point in the narrative? So, that said, loosely and vaguely as I said it, I decided to apply the same question to the photographs I will continue to amateurly shoot. I don't have any questions for Photo 1. It's rather a snapshot of Wines of Spain, of which I will speak shortly. Photo 2 - what is the focus, exactly? Why that angle? What gives with not seeing the stem of the glass? And of Photo 3 I'd ask, How do the blurred background maps contribute to the wine bottles - are they maps of Spain to match the Spanish wine? (no.) Then what? These are things I will be thinking about as I trudge on with my Amateur Creativehood.*So, Tuesday night (thank goodness tomorrow is Friday finally) Craig and I met Alison and Scott at Divine Bar, W. 54th and 8th Ave, for the Wines of Spain tasting. It was my treat to Craig after he treated me to the Italian one for my birthday, and I must say - we were all rather impressed with Wines of Spain. Alison and Scott have been to Spain - not to Rioja, which is one of their favorite wine regions, but they are familiar with Spain nonetheless and were excited to try more grapes (ie., the fruit of the grapes' labor - wine!) Craig passionately declared several times that he could definitely get on board with Wines of Spain, so the above pictured bottles (with the exception of Sur from Argentina, which is Mister Wine's "staff favorite" so I snatched it up for $10) are from Spain. Additionally, the bottle we took to the new sushi place last night was positively at a table the other night at tasting. We kept hearing "oak barrel" and "smoky" in the descriptions, so we decided we like that characteristic in a wine.*This weekend is going to be exciting. Friday is dinner in Astoria with Eric and Lynne, Saturday is our hot, humid NYC adventure to be topped with German Beer with Jeff in Alphabet City and probably fusion sushi again, since I love it so much. The Nikon D will be on my hip, but I'm not promising greatness, given the fact I still have no idea what is really happening when I push buttons on that thing. Oh, for more hours in the day!

June 04, 2008


I can't write for long. It's so close to 10 and that is what I consider to be my older age bedtime, but tonight Craig and I abandoned my Szechuan dinner plans and ate sushi, instead, at a new place where we brought our own bottle of wine. We came home to a massive mailing from Roger, Mary and Alexander - a disc of photographs that I knew was en route, only, I did not realize Roger was going to include photographs from as far back as 2004! So the top photo depicts what Mary did with my hair for our Mardi Gras celebration in St. Louis in 2004. And the photo below it depicts the two couples I'd love to have around when my children are born and raised, Mary (minus Rog who snapped the photo) and Karen and Wojo. We're walking somewhere in Alexandria, Virginia, in this picture, I think. Anyway, after laughing all the way through the adorable letter that "Alexander" wrote, and the sweet card from Mary thanking us for the NYC bear that we brought for Alex the weekend of Gordon and Julie's wedding, I just remembered how completely real and strong it is to love people - to hold a family, such as theirs, so close to my heart - to want to be in their son's life when he's walking and talking and recognizing - and how important it is that those of us who encounter each other along the way just don't forget one another. It's been exciting for me to share Craig with Roger and Mary, and vice versa. It was great for Wojo and Craig to develop their own thing without me even realizing it had happened! And to know that if I really need to get someone on the phone - if I'm just in need of a chat - I can get Mary or Rog or Wojo or Karen quickly - and if I want a totally fun, laughable and hilarious weekend soon, I can make sure we all meet up somewhere. Rog, Mary, Alexander...tons of my love to you and thanks for the pics!!! I will see you soon. Alexander, we have a lot to catch up on, young man.