Friday, July 29, 2011

Got Bent

My day got bent 6 ways from Sunday. It stared over 30 minutes before I was supposed to get up and it hasn't stopped yet. A little question for you, what hasn't gone as you expected today?

*Finished posting pics from the weddings on Sunday.
**The conversation is interesting over at Kizz & Tell (NSFW).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Elsewhere Deep Thoughts

I posted a re-print of an old Women's Colony essay over at Kizz & Tell today. The gist of it is, can we ever really know someone? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Playing Cards

When you live in a city, especially one with a high instance of public transportation usage, you rub up against humanity a lot. Like today I was walking behind a young lady with an admittedly fine behind so I had a ringside seat as two express couriers ogled her shamelessly. I didn't quite hear what they yelled at first. Then she responded, gesturing to her Yankees top, and I heard exactly what the retort was, "Red Sox, baby!" Didn't expect those guys to be my kind of people but hey, look, there they were.

Last Tuesday I left work early to go to Michael's memorial service. It involved a simple but many-stepped commute cross town and up a little bit. I gave myself plenty of time but was thwarted when I grabbed a cocoa in tribute to Michael and to replace the lunch I wasn't getting and the barista was not a fan of the linear. It still looked as though things would be fine but the train was late. So, by the time I got to the right stop and had to trek underground for a few blocks I was starting to feel the pressure. Not to mention the fact that it was pushing 100 degrees up on earth and I was in the ball-sweaty nether regions of the subway system.

It was crowded. I concentrated on being respectful. With the end of the crowded transfer tunnel in sight, though, I was losing patience while I worried about who I would see at the service, how I looked and what I would say. So I gauged my timing and wiggled between two slower pedestrians to make the turn into the less crowded walkway uptown. I did well. I didn't bump anyone or cut them off, just kept on my merry way.

Behind me, though, I began to hear that faux cheery voice of that sort of man who likes to tell women how to feel. It had the tones of the un-cola man from the 80s mated with the passive-aggressive guilt vibes you expect from a soon-to-be-ex spouse.

"Careful there," he advised me. "Don't want to spill that coffee."

I don't drink coffee and I hadn't hurt him in any way. He was judging me and I was already feeling anticipatory judgment (which never came) about the memorial and I was mad, which was a sort of nice change from how sad I was feeling, but I didn't have time for it. In the interest of time and respect for the dearly departed, I resolved to grit it out in silence.

"Don't want to have to spend another $4 to get you another one..." and he kept going but I couldn't hear him over the voices in my head.

I didn't spend $4! I spent $3.21 plus tip. And I tipped! Because I know it's a luxury and those cost and not just in sweat like Debbie Allen warns you in the opening credits to Fame. I had a good reason for getting this treat today so don't tell me what I can and cannot do and....I have the death card. And I'm fucking playing it.

I turned slightly to get my voice thrown in the right direction, "You know, I'm on my way to a funeral and I'm a little late so I'm going to do whatever I want." You nosy bastard.

He may have apologized but I wasn't listening.

*Photo of something else I stumbled upon while out and about in our fair heat wave.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

10 Maritally Equal Photos

My 10 Things for Today are photos I took on Sunday at the Kings County Clerk's Office in Brooklyn. It was the first day that same gender couples were able to obtain marriage certificates and marry in New York State. I have only posted about half of them on Flickr so far. I'd like to present them here without comment but if you're interested in more of a story you can check out the photos and captions in my Flickr stream.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oh, No, I Couldn't Possibly

I have been accused in the past of not being able to accept help. I have also been accused of being a leech. Perhaps I hit a middle ground. Perhaps I have more trouble asking for help with the mundane everyday than I do with the bizarre.

This weekend I was afforded the opportunity to visit a family member in a New England hospital thanks to the generosity of many friends. I had no problem apparently asking JRH if she would amuse my dog for the day since I didn't want to leave him home (I'm traveling a lot in the next month and a half) and he could not, of course, come to the hospital. I asked this huge thing not even noticing that there would be a grand benefit. OK, I noticed that there would be one benefit, I'd get to see JRH, which happens all too rarely, but I would also get to meet her dogs. And she'd get to meet mine. I did not let the opportunity pass without taking some shots of her canine companions. Now I wish it were more feasible for them all to hang out more often. While they played in pairs throughout the day we never did tempt fate with a three dog free for all.

Pony Express did the drive with me. And by with I mean that I did perhaps a quarter of the driving. Perhaps. I did pay for lunch and parking and one tank of gas. But only one. I also hid some money in her mother's car but I don't know if anyone is ever going to find that. Yes, her mother's car. Because it was apparently not beyond me to say, "Why that would be great if it would be OK with Humma." when Pony Express said she thought we should borrow the car and do a one day round trip drive to New England. Which means that not only did Humma lend us her car but she picked us up at the train station, fed us a delicious meal and gave me a prime air conditioned room to sleep in for the scant few hours before our departure.

So I guess if you think I don't accept enough help you should just offer me something a little more audacious. Careful, though, I'll probably accept.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rough & Tumble

Today was hard, y'all. Not the worst day in the history of days, there were a lot of good things and a lot of important things that happened. Also a lot of traveling. I saw some people I love and I thought some hard thoughts.

Last night and as Pony Express and I drove North this morning we listened to reports about the bombing and subsequent shootings in Norway. Apparently over 90 people dead now and the toll may continue to climb. We heard a quote from a young man who had been at the camp and begged for his life. As with 9/11 the plan was brilliant. The Norwegian authorities deployed all their rescue forces for the bombing allowing the gunman ample time to go on his hunting expedition. With the confusion at the bomb site it was over an hour before help arrived for those campers.

This evening as we drove South first I heard about Amy Winehouse's passing. I was checking in on Facebook for the first time in about 24 hours and there were a lot of posts about that. Not so many, perhaps not even a one, about Norway. I don't mean to diminish this talented woman's death. It was the imbalance that struck me.

A little while later as we merged back onto 95 near the Long Wharf Theater we noticed traffic completely stopped in the other direction. Some people were standing on the highway and it took a moment to realize that they were gathered around a small, convertible sportscar that had flipped over, from what I could tell, end over end, not in a sideways roll. There was a woman crying. No one seemed to be doing anything. We continued to drive, as safety dictated, and I called 911. The operator answered, "911, are you calling about the roll over?" After determining that I hadn't witnessed the accident she hung up. I've been thinking about those people. Was the crying woman seeing something terrible? Had she just gotten out of the car? Had she gotten out but not her companions? Maybe she was from another car. Maybe her car had been part of the accident but not flipped. How many times have we all done something questionable in a car and gotten away with it? How close did we come to not getting away with it?

Life can be...messy you guys. At 99 degrees at 9pm  here in blessed Brooklyn I don't think it's going to get any less messy any time soon. Please, please be careful out there.

Hive Mind, Please?

Can anyone point me to instructions for removing this tag without ruining the shirt, please? I promise I paid for it, I have the receipt and everything.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Traveling Dog is Sleepy

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Blurry Dogs Are Blurry

And happy.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Air Conditioning

Of a sort. NJ transit to Trenton.
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Get What You Pay For

Due to time constraints I got the fancy expensive name brand pet carrier. Now I know why it costs so much, pets fight over who gets to go in it!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Keep Your Cool

It's well established how much I enjoy the heat. I'm not truly comfortable until we hit 80 and I start to get really happy somewhere around 85. I've been kind of in heaven since we (finally) got summer. Even I have to admit, though, that the last couple of days have been...a little excessive.

Everyone keeps reminding each other to "go slowly." Makes it sound like, in heat like this, there's any other achievable speed. It's good to be careful, though, I know. Hydration is important, cooling, sunscreen. I'm an advocate. Promise.

I thought of a few of other important safety concerns while we're at it.

1. When you get off the subway train move quickly and politely to the center of the platform. Not only is it common courtesy, if you wear glasses the extreme temperature fluctuation between the delightfully air conditioned car and the dank, hotbox of a platform will fog up your glasses and you could very well fall on your face. If you can beat the fog to the center of the platform you'll be able to clean your glasses and move safely to your destination without being run over by your fellow commuters.

2. Pay attention to your breathing. Well, at this point, how can you not? It's like a scene out of The Abyss over here. I'm not saying it's uncomfortable but if I had the option to quit breathing, just until it cools down, I would. But I don't so I have to be strategic about it. Keep your eyes peeled to avoid breathing near sewers, curbside garbage, the armpits of your fellow commuters and the like. If you pass out from the stench no one is going to move you. It's too hot to be all rooting around hauling some stranger up by her sweat-slick limbs. Then you'll get concrete burns on your face just lying there (you can fry and egg out there, today!) and that's not good either. So breathe responsibly folks.

3. Don't position yourself between an old lady* and the ice cream freezer at the deli. Surely you know that's only asking for trouble.

*I know I'm only 42 but it's older than some.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Iambic Pentameter Birthday

In the spring of 1999 I was living in Saginaw, MI and getting up ungodly early nearly every day to ride several miles and perform in front of smallish children. Fortunately all my neighbors at the time were doing the same thing since we all worked for the same company. Being a baseball fan and knowing that even if I came back to MI the following year Tiger Stadium would not be in use I decided that I should go to see a game there before my job was over for the year.

Note: Tiger Stadium was over 2 hours from my home, I did not have a car and the state that used to make all the cars isn't exactly overflowing with public transportation options.

I talked up this grand plan to everyone. I priced out tickets. I got the game schedule. And I did all this in an age before I had regular access to the internet, a cell phone or, to be honest, a phone of any type. I am a hero. I know you're thinking it.

One person jumped on my bandwagon, and that person was Clemo. So we got in his car and we drove to Detroit and saw an April match up between the Tigers and the Yankees. We sat mere rows behind the Yanks UnBullpen and I bought a hat and it was way too cold and we had fun anyway. Quiet, contemplative, old people fun.

We were the oldest members of the troupe. Did I mention that? I turned 30 that year and he had me beat by 7 years. On my birthday he opened the door for my party dressed all in black with a bowler hat on, looking appropriately somber but secretly I think he was glad to have someone join him in his decade.

Today he turns....7 years older than me. He's keeping the skies friendly* and the stages a little hairy. I hope he's having a great birthday. The only flaw, for me, is that Misti and Dion and Matt and all our other friends and I can't meet him at his door this evening wearing black bowler hats and bearing cake.

*Psst, John! I'll be flying NYC - San Diego on 8/3, Long Beach - San Francisco on 8/9 and San Francisco - NYC on a red eye 8/12 in case you need to alert the authorities.

**I have blatantly stolen the first photo from his blog. I hope he isn't mad.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Long Overdue Announcement

If you're into this sort of thing you might want to jump on over to Kizz & Tell to see who won the giveaway I started IN MARCH.

Better Nate than lever, if you know what I mean.

It's been a while since I've posted over there so I'll give the boiler plate again. Not safe for work or for younger children or for people who don't want to know too much about me and my body. If you're down with all that I hope you'll click over.

Photo Challenge: MUSIC (to my ears)

Yesterday was a mountain of a day with the memorial and some family stuff going on so I'm a little late this morning with the challenge results. Pardon me!

The MUSIC (to my ears) challenge was tough for some, I think. Or it could have been the record high temps across the country melting the innards of both our brains and our cameras. And yet there are still far more entries than I'm featuring here and I think you'll count yourself lucky if you can plunk down in front of a fan and scroll through them.

Fondofsnape's sweetheart is a musician. I have tried to perfect this sort of shot while photographing musicians and I've never quite gotten it right. Love what she's captured here.

This glimpse into the life and times of Elephant Soap and her beloved feels like Bonnie and Clyde to me but Bonnie and Clyde as interpreted by Ionesco or Weird Al Yankovic.

Seems like we might have a theme here aside from the assigned one. It's all photos of partners and families. Though these guys aren't my family they are one half of herm007's family at a recent fabulous backyard bash.

Which brings us, of course, to our new challenge. I am a homebody, y'all, but for about 6 weeks I'm not sitting down much. Day trips, weekend trips, a weeklong jaunt to a state I've never seen before. Which means that the next challenge will have to be (Get Out The) MAP.

Please (really, PLEASE!) submit your photos to our Flickr Pool tagged with PhotoChallenge and MAP by Tuesday morning August 2 for posting on Wednesday August 3 before I get on the plane to sunny San Diego. Submit as many as you like. Any level of photographer is welcome, we love to have you. If you have questions you can comment here or email me at isabeau6 at hotmail dot com.

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

10 Live Performances I've Seen With My Father

Another list, because who says 10 Things Tuesday has to come one at a time?

1. Romeo & Juliet in Stratford on Avon

2. American Buffalo at the National Theatre in London when I was six

3. One of Kirsten Marting's plays, not Alice in Wonderland but I can't remember which one, I do know it was at the Ohio Theater

4. The Mystery of Edwin Drood on Broadway when I was 17

5. Many a Mettawee River Theater Company production in Portsmouth, NH

6. Taming of the Shrew in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

7. The Wind in the Willows at the National Theatre in London on New Year's Eve

8. This very cool play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival by a playwright whose first name was Sarah. I'm pretty sure it was Sarah Kane and the play was Skin.

9. A terrible and terrifying ghoulish circus also at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the same year. I couldn't stay for the second half, I was too freaked out and I'd been the one to suggest it. I still feel really bad about that.

10. My grandfather singing a vaudeville patter song he learned when he was a young adult at his 75th birthday party.

10 Movies With Friends

This afternoon I'm going to a memorial service for my friend, Michael. Way back in the way back machine I worked for him but for the last four or five years we went to the movies together a few times a month. Here are 10 movies we saw together.

1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (on opening weekend no less, one of the first ones we saw together)

2. Time Traveler's Wife

3. Inception

4. The Other Boleyn Girl

5. Winter's Bone

6. Everything Must Go (liked it far more than I thought I would and I think this might be the last one we saw together)

7. Greenberg (HATED IT)

8. Black Swan

9. A Single Man

10. The Wrestler

We saw a lot of good movies. Not all good ones but there are great memories.