The Pupkin was featured in NY Magazine online today. Eddie made the cut in the slideshow! I always knew he'd be famous. Emily once made the NY Times online so he'll have to up his intellectual credibility but this is a good start.
Monday, October 31, 2011
This morning I did an errand on the Upper East Side. All along 78th Street the fanciest homes are decked out in the most expensive yet sometimes most ridiculous decorations. They've got multiple fake skeletons, oceans of asbestos-laden spider webs, caution tape by the mile. There are simpler touches, too, like a mailbox with a hand coming out of it and a squawking raven. One house had Martha Stewart-approved twig wreaths on each of their ornate doors. Artfully draped across the center of each wreath was a long, white glove with tastefully bloodied fingertips. I laughed out loud.
Later I got on the bus with a young princess. A few blocks along she descended in the arms of her (uncostumed) footman/dad while she clutched an unstuffed dog and sang at top volume, "TrickOrTreatTrickOrTreatTrickOrTreat" until she was out of sight. There was a man on the bus who, by virtue of his hat, looked like the retirement village version of Jughead from the Archie comics. He wasn't in costume, though. A few stops along, the back door opened and a gladiator went striding by. Helmet, boots, light cloak, short kilt. Nothing else. He and his carefully waxed and tanned chest must have been very cold but he wasn't going to ruin the costume for the sake of a little weather. I have no idea where he was keeping his metrocard. Let's say his boot. Yes, it was in his boot.
I love this town.
Draped across a chair in my living room are a couple of yards of leftover Mermaid Parade tulle. Under that is my 40th Birthday tiara and a collection of somber clothing. I'm headed to a spider-themed dinner party this evening and decided that Black Widow was the way to go. My favorite part is the flowing, makeshift veil. I'm debating whether to torture the dog some more by making him wear one, too. We'll walk our Brooklyn neighborhood's festivities with our dinner companions and get a good laugh out of the evening. I don't generally dress up unless I'm working so this is an unexpected hoot.
What about you? Will you be transforming into someone else for the evening? Go on. You know you'll have fun.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
After many machinations we did manage to pull off The 13th Annual Great Pupkin today. Apparently neither snow nor city officials can keep us from our appointed fun. I wound up working the line, getting contestants in order and ready to get on stage, so I didn't get as many photos as I'd hoped but there were plenty of photographers around and I will continue to post links as I find them.
Here's the link to my set. It's incomplete right now but should be done soon. Kate on Clinton posted some great ones, too, including a fierce one of the Edster.
Oh, and we did win, 5th prize. It was pretty generous, too.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Just finished Bill Bryson's At Home. That was a slog but with huge bright spots that I'm so glad I got to learn about. Then I had a young adult book I've been hearing about for years, City of Ember. Read that in about two and a half days. Good. Not great but a great plot. Sort of a milder, lateral move from Hunger Games.
Oh, and I'm about to go on a music buying binge. I saw Susan Werner in concert last night and I am in love with everything she is. I will be signing up for Spotify then buying all the music I can get my hands on.
What I really want to know, though, now that I'm going to join Spotify and I know how to use the library's hold system, is what you're reading and listening to. Tell me everything. It's snowing outside, beautiful weather for curling up with a good book.
It's snowing right now. I thought it was going to be that rainy kind of snow and not a big deal. It's blizzarding around and accumulating and it's kind of ridiculous. Knowing that something might happen, Kath rescheduled the Pupkin for tomorrow. Thank goodness. Not only am I glad we're not trying to parade soggy dogs in this mess it also afforded M and I the time to try the costumes on our dogs. We may not stop laughing until well after the contest is over. I wanted to save the surprise until tomorrow but I can't. Here are the shots M got on her phone.
Here are the very good boys. I think under those masks they're tallying how much freeze dried chicken they're owed for this.
Izzie looked on with barely disguised contempt. At one point she sniffed Ben then walked away.
After the costumes were removed and the chicken dispensed M rewarded Eddie by letting him relax in the basket of her skirt. He loves that. He's so freaking spoiled.
Have you stopped laughing yet?
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I haven't read the entire Irving canon but I've read a lot of it. Occasionally there's something I like. I'll always have an affection for Garp. Widow For One Year was just the right amount of Irving at one go. I'm sure there was another one in there that was fine, just fine, but clearly I've blocked it out. Owen Meany? The one everyone loves? It was like a number out of A Chorus Line, I felt nothing. And Cider House Rules? That is 600 pages of my life I will never get back (not to mention the fact that I couldn't stop myself from watching the movie). How do you take three things I love - reading, reproductive rights, and New England - and stir them into a sludge that makes me regret spending the time? I don't know but John Irving does it.
Enter Quentin Tarantino, celebrated quirky filmmaker of my generation. Ish. I think he's my generation or at least counted as such. I love one of his films, Reservoir Dogs. Honestly, I didn't know I loved it until my second viewing. A co-worker, a Harvey Keitel fan, found out that the film was playing on the big screen and there was an interview with Keitel afterward and we should all go. I was the only one of us who showed up. No regrets. On the big screen it's an entirely different movie. Suddenly that one scene is all about the guy's ear and because it has that's focus it's exactly the right length and the build up is exquisite and when it finally all goes bad the viewer goes sliding down with it. Knowing what I know after that viewing I could watch it again and again.
Inglorious Basterds in my Netflix queue. I watched it creep slowly up to the top. When it got there I thought for a minute about deleting it before it was shipped but I didn't. Even though I'd caught the beginning of it on TV one afternoon and it had put me to sleep I let them send it, I opened the envelope, I put it in the player, pressed play, and spent the next [very large number] of frames committed to it. If you're going to make me read subtitles I'm going to need more. If you're going to make me watch "Funny" Brad Pitt I'm going to need some Shirtless Brad Pitt to balance it. If you're going to fill up half your movie with Diane Kruger you're going to have to be sufficiently interesting to make me forget my raging jealousy that she sleeps with Pacey Witter. As far as I'm concerned none of these conditions was met. I wasn't surprised. I knew it was coming but here I spent a perfectly usable weeknight watching it because I thought, as a lover of films, it was somehow important that I understand what everyone was talking about when they showered affectionate digital drool all over the movie. I didn't. I could have gone my whole life without watching it and I could go the rest of my life without seeing another Tarantino movie. He won't care and nobody else will either. Same goes for Irving. Their success or well being or self worth are not dependent on me. (Cue meeting my soulmate, the world's leading Tarantino expert with a Irving fetish.)
I don't like Quentin Tarantino and that's OK. I don't like John Irving and that, also, is OK.
Someone please remind me of that so we avoid these sorts of disappointments in the future.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Apparently this HOOTENANNY prompt was a little tough for people. I think it was partly the prompt and partly a misunderstanding. While I know a lot of people like to take a new picture each fortnight and have that be their entry please know that there are no restrictions on when your entry was taken. If you're just not finding any hootenanny-ness, if you will, in your life it's ok to dig into the archives. There really aren't many (any) rules here. I thought that went without saying but, what the hell, I'll say it, too.
Anyway, here are the results and there are many more entries in the pool so please click those. As always, comment love for the photographers is social gold, people.
fondofsnape first put up a series of this band I didn't understand why she kept using the phrase "Enter The Haggis". There was no food in the shots, where was the stuffed sheep's stomach? That's the name of the band.
Elephant Soap and I agree that, though the whole candied apples make a better photo op, we prefer to eat them when they're cut up.
I went to earlier this month. I yearn to take high quality candid portraits of people. I don't know that my tech is perfect for this one but I love that I captured this expression right before the birthday girl blew out her candles.
We're spanning Halloween and All Soul's Day and even Guy Fawkes Night this next time so the prompt is obvious. FRIGHT. Any way you want to interpret it we want to see it!
Please add your FRIGHT photos to the Flickr Pool by 9am on Tuesday November 8th for posting on Wednesday November 9th. If you are so inclined tag them with PhotoChallenge and FRIGHT. Any questions hit me here in the comments, on Twitter (@Kizzbeth), or via email (isabeau6 at hotmail dot com). Have fun!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
OK, so that's not an acceptable list. I don't want to perpetuate that. How about Things I Have Accomplished This Week:
1. Worked out the design of the spandex trunks my dog will wear. They're terrible but they'll basically work.
2. Learned the lyrics to a new, for me, song.
3. Called the accompanist. He wasn't there. I left a message. Need to call back.
5. Politely but firmly shut down a Facebook friend who posted ignorant, conservative hatred on my wall.
6. Cooked a new item in my crockpot (with much aid from Misti). It's sweet potato, turkey, black bean chili. It is good. It is not great. I can work on it. I am going to be officially sick of it by Thursday, though, at which point it will have served for 5 meals.
7. Reorganized a bunch of stuff on Flickr that I was behind on. It's still not perfect (have I tagged any photos, like, ever) but it's much better than it was.
Pupkin and so many photos will be taken. Though I noticed I only put up 54 last year. I want to increase those numbers this year. I think it'll be easier with another year of training and calmness under Ed's belt.
9. I learned how to use the Brooklyn Public Library's online hold system. I still do not trust a library where a real, live, trained librarian basically told me to quit talking to human beings because that's where things get fucked up but I did it anyway.
10. I decided, with the help of Sara, that I am going to do NaBloPoMo this year. Eden Kennedy has transferred ownership of the event to Blogher and she herself has said she's sick of it so I thought I might give it a pass. Turns out I enjoy it and am going to try it again. It may be challenging since I'll have company for almost a week around Thanksgiving but the advent of mobile technology should make it a breeze if I keep my eye on the ball. Apparently also going to keep my metaphors mixed. Variety is the spice...etc. etc. and so forth.
What have you crossed off your to do list this week?
Monday, October 24, 2011
On Sunday I stood down in the Grand Central Station of off leash hours surrounded on all sides by people and dogs and half finished lattes and as A turned to speak to me she said, "Oh look" and pointed. Both hawks were sitting high up in a nearby tree. Even from there they looked like mob bosses with evil intentions. Suddenly A turned, laughed a little and said, "Where's Eddie? Should we shield him?"
R chimed in, "He'd be good eatin'!"
"Oh, I don't know," she replied, "I think he'd put up a fight."
"Sure he would but once they got him he's a good eatin' dog. Meaty thighs, easy to pull apart."
Not one to leave well enough alone I added, "Probably good brains, too."
"Yeah!" R enthused, "I bet he has all those nooks and crannies and you can just dig in."
"Now Buce isn't a good eatin' dog," R declared.
"Probably not," A agreed.
"Too stringy," I said.
Some, I suppose, might be offended by this discussion but, given my penchant for graveside humor, I loved it. I couldn't wait to write it all down and tell the internet what cool friends I have. Honestly, it's humor like this that makes me trust I'm hanging with the right folks.
Other kinds of folks, though, do not understand. We'll occasionally get shushed by another dog owner in the park or cause someone to clutch their imaginary pearls as we go on. They don't get it. It doesn't mean we don't care about the dogs. Far from it. It's that kind of imagination, the ability to put ourselves in the shoes of an ambitious and, pardon me again, peckish young hawk that means we can also see into the delectable brains of our canine buddies.
lovely photo by Amber Marlow Blatt. It shows a, frankly pretty hot, guy sitting on a step with his doberman, looking down into the dog's eyes as the dog stretches his neck up toward his master. I fell in love with both of them right then. Come on, a boy and his dog? That is rarely not white hot.
Then I read the caption. Both boy and dog are neighbors of Amber's. The photo came from a shoot Amber did for them recently because the dog, Asa, was very sick. As a matter of fact they happened to be taken on the day before Asa died. All of the photos from the shoot are heartbreakingly beautiful. You know what happens next.
Please go check out Amber's peek into the last day of a great dog and then...go on...say it with me...Treats For Everyone. I see a little shrimp in my cats' future and perhaps a marrow bone for a certain tasty little mixed breed working dog. Godspeed, Asa. May you find all your favorite things wherever you may go.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
As I told you yesterday I happened upon Occupy Boston during my travels yesterday. It made me wish I was one of those people who had a car and could fit everything I owned in it so I could drive around the country taking photos of all the Occupy Communities. I suppose that's not the only way I could do it. I could wish for a spouse to hold the fort while I did it. I could just wish I had the balls to go regardless, just because I feel strongly about it. Interesting times, as the saying goes.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Today I'm off on a trip. Sometimes I make sort of crazy short forays North. Today I'm taking a couple of buses and at least one subway, maybe some taxis, a car ride and who knows what else. My dad's former students are having a get together at one of my favorite restaurants and I want to be there. Last time we all got together was for Auntie Blanche's funeral and that's too long. Since it's a busy time around here I'm only going for the day. A long day but still able to be classified as such, I think. I'll be home in the wee hours of Sunday and have the rest of the day to reset before a work week that dives headlong into a hell of a Halloween weekend. I could have rented a car and driven but it would have been both expensive and probably a dangerously long day. The other cool thing about this way is that I have around 10 hours of guilt-free napping, reading, and writing as I navigate the proverbial long and winding road with other folks in the driver's seat. I might also have some time to update on the fly. Are you on tenterhooks?
What are you up to today?
Friday, October 21, 2011
That, to me, is legitimately spookified but I don't think it's going to win me $100
As you may have heard I spent some time at Kath's last weekend working on Ed's costume for The Great Pupkin. We (and by we I mean she) only got the mask made but that's the most important part. I've got to make the trunks soon. We took some pictures that might brighten up your Friday if you feel like clicking through.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I love it when we can kick off on a great note. America's first LGBT Senior Center is opening in January! Let's hope this is the first of many. Please click through to the link if only for the truly glorious photo that Gothamist used for the post.
Holy political inrage, Batman! Two good notes in a row. The FBI is changing the definition of rape...wait for it...for the better. Thanks, Fibbies, we needed that.
This dog was surrendered because her owners didn't have time for her. She breaks my heart and I want to bring her home immediately.
A Tennessee county has defunded Planned Parenthood and is now awarding a family planning grant to a faith based organization that openly opposes abortion. Fuckers.
10 Top Tips to End Rape before but not in this fantastic poster format. They're easy steps and if we could all follow them everyone would be safer, that's for sure.
In honor of a friend who has died Subeb0b posted a really lovely poem. I like the words, the images, and the form of it. Hope you do, too.
The Tumblr, Fuck Yeah Neil Patrick Harris, is gone. However, there is both a Fuck Yeah Ryan Gosling and a Feminist Ryan Gosling Tumblr. I love them both. Hat Tip to Maggie for the Feminist link.
Scroll down to the bottom of this Advanced Style post for one of the best inspirational quotes of the month. This woman has style on every ring of her proverbial tree.
Our friend and ally, Steph, has started a Tumblr. It's full of vintage screen stars and her dachshund, Charlie. I think you will love it, especially this entry.
generous blogger. Maybe they're obvious, maybe they aren't but I think it's a nice refresher course to help us all keep spreading the love.
Chili wrote about learning something really aggravating on her annual apple picking trip. I'd be interested to hear how you think the problem ought to be handled.
I met Laura at Blogher this year and she recently got super fired up and posted this anti-We Are The 99% message that she ran across. If you think unemployment is a choice for everyone who is unemployed right now you're fucking kidding yourself. And Laura knows whereof she speaks.
That's enough for now, don't you think? From Ryan Gosling to dachsunds to choice to apples? That's probably the gamut. At least for today.
*I'll be so impressed if you know what TV show I got that phrase from. Well, I'll be impressed if you know and you're not JRH.
But before I do, you know that a certain whacky-haired Libyan dictator who shall remain unspellable has been killed, right? Sure, I tell you this to be certain you know but I also tell you because apparently there are photos of his dead, mutilated body going around. Now, I tell you that for two reasons. First, you might want to avoid them and second, I'm told that any moment now someone is going to appropriate the subject line, "Q_____'s Dead Body!" to cover up virusy emails. Don't get a virus.
On to Twitter!
It's National Day On Writing (You'll have to google, the site must be getting mega traffic. I can't get there to link it.). People are letting the world know why they write. Check out @SoonerSeth for the funniest one I've seen so far. So get thee to Twitter and use the hashtag #WhyIWrite. Then come back here and remind me to do it because I haven't yet.
@KateHarding tweeted a couple of weeks ago about a new Roku device. With all the Netflix hoopla do you think it'll be a good purchase for me? Will it help me ditch my cable do you think?
@Gawker highlighted the right wing version of We Are the 99%. It's called We Are The 53% and it's sad/foolish/freaky because most of the people contributing are the 99%. They need all the help Occupy Wall Street is talking about but they are staunchly denying it. I don't get it.
There's been a lot of talk lately about the dogs rescued from Michael Vick's dogfighting business. @GothamBooks helped promote a new book about that disaster. For my part I came up, a bit too late, with the perfect punishment for Vick. He should have to be Betty White's bodyguard. She's a fantastic animal advocate and having to apologize and help her in her work every day would have been the perfect rehab. I still don't think he should be getting paid the going rate to play football. You want to play so bad? You do it for minimum wage. The rest of your salary goes to animal shelters.
@KateHarding again, writing about the loss of her beloved old dog and the hilariously cute pup she took in soon after.
@WentRogue took some time to note how very dangerous the vaguely genial old dude, Mike Huckabee, is. He's not interested in elevating women or treating anyone as a person. Don't let him fool you.
@Bossy is on a list of 100 Women Bloggers You Should Be Reading. I know we're already reading so much but, hey, there's some good chicks on here in case you find yourself bored and with wifi one day. You might get hooked.
@Blogher pimped a post by Digital Chick TV about cable vs. internet TV watching and how we're getting our stories. Where do you fit?
I'm off to catch some more stories on the internet. What are you loving on the Twitter?
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
On rainy days you cut those numbers in half. At least. Certainly our posse of small dogs doesn't go gallivanting about in the mud and rain like a pack of, well, animals. It's beneath them. Not beneath Ed, though, or me. I love my dog but he needs to run a bit every day or it's hard to like him.
Ed is very good off leash, for the most part. I look for triggers and work to train him away from them or leash him up when training isn't possible. This morning, with so few folks in the park, it seemed like we'd have a pretty easy day. It started out weird when he wouldn't stay while I took off his leash and walked a few steps. I guess the rain made him anxious.
About halfway through our walk, on the back side of the park near the hospital entrance, we heard some talk echoing off the ambulance bay walls and he kept trending toward it. I called him and he came but kept looking over his shoulder. I called again with the same result but he wasn't any less focused so I leashed him up. His focus was on the exit and it's a busy road out there. I figured I'd unleash again when we got around the corner, out of sight of the street, if he seemed calmer.
While we walked a jogger passed us. Ed kept an eye on him as he approached from behind but seemed to sort of let him go when he got out in front. As promised, after we rounded the corner, I unleashed him.
That dog took off like he was the finale in an episode of Mythbusters. For a second I thought he was headed to where we often see Bobby. For another second I thought he was going to run his crazy circles on the grass. As the third second ticked by he was probably 200 yards ahead of me with the jogger clearly in his sights and there was no way I could catch him. Olympic sprinters couldn't catch him. I called to him a couple of times but not with much conviction since it was clear I wasn't a factor. I started to jog while calculating whether I should cut the angle by going over the hill or stay on the path. The dog disappeared around the next far off corner. I think I heard one shrill "woof." I yanked my hood down to try and hear better over my slapping boots. Panicking a little I tried to pick up my pace but still couldn't decide what direction to go or whether to call out again.
Back he came. He was running at the same full tilt boogie, his light up collar a streak of red along the path. He reined in right next to me and sat right down, head tilted up for a treat. I didn't, honestly, know what the fuck to do.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I went to visit the Occupy Wall Street site near, well, Wall Street on Friday.
I felt a little funny about it. Since the desires of the protesters are so disparate I wasn't sure if I agreed with the group, though I definitely support their right to protest. Would I just be a tourist? Was that all right? After we'd been there a bit there was a group call and response that made it clear that the assemblage wants people to visit, to talk, to look, and to go back into the world and tell as many people as they can reach about it.
This is part of my telling. I took many more than the 10 photos featured here. It was hard to choose these but they're ones I feel strongly about. I hope you'll click through to the set and see the rest.
I think one of the valuable things the protest is bringing to this election cycle is conversation. I find that it makes me talk more in positive terms. I don't mean, "Oh this is going so well," I mean, "I want this" as opposed to, "I don't want this."
That being said, I don't feel confident that this protest in particular or this type of protest in general will change the things it hopes to change. I do, however, have hope that lighting a fire under the discussion as they are will have a positive effect.
The reason you're getting 10 photos and not 10 bulleted points, though, is that I still really don't know what to think about this presidential election cycle. Giving you 10 sights that moved me is the best I can do.
Thanks for looking.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
I heard a story tonight (I'll explain later with pictures) that I thought was too funny not to share before I hit the hay. I can't vouch for its accuracy. We'll all have to google tomorrow.
As I hear it the man who developed the concept of the department store lived and died in New York City. He was buried in the graveyard of St. Mark's Church. At some unspecified time later his grave was robbed and his wife received a ransom note demanding $20,000 for the return of his body. She paid $18,000 and got a bag of bones which she interred under his name in the famous Greenwood Cemetery.
The wife of the inventor of the department store gets a ransom note for his body and her response is to haggle for the discount.
Now, that's comedy.