Thursday, June 30, 2011


I look like a mean(er) Truman Capote.
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Grown Up Juice

Drinking some grown up juice and taking some snaps on the High Line. It's an afternoon vacation!
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Coolhaus Again

Choc chip cookie with dirty mint ice cream. I have a good excuse for going 2 days in a row. Well an excuse anyway. I'll explain later after I play tourist briefly.
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Full & Fancy

These are all relatively fancy people waiting to get on fancy buses to go be fancy out in the Hamptons.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Clean Up Aisle 5

Cleaned the ice cream off my foot before I even took inventory of my face. 5 year olds everywhere aspire to be me.
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My First Coolhaus Sammie

Peanut butter cookies with Mexican Chocolate ice cream. Sweet and spicy, just like my dream date. I think there might be a technique to eating these that I have not yet mastered. I have ice cream on my foot. Must practice. Perhaps not on an 85 degree day when there's time to enjoy but not enough time to savor...or photograph.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Transitional Properties of Me

I was recently invited, nay encouraged, to take charge of the way I feel when performing and believe that I can turn any feelings I might label as fright or nerves instead as excitement.

When I taught dance to kids we asked them to think of their performance as a gift to the audience, especially the people they loved who were out there. It's a nice analogy and I wish I remembered it more often right before I step on stage. It's also, maybe, a bit of a burden because if you do screw up that means you trampled your gift to your mom and that doesn't feel so good. Fortunately no one ever called us on that. There's always going to be a kid, though, who hears you encourage them and tells you to go to hell because they feel what they feel and you can suck it.

I try not to be that kid...on the outside.

So I'm at least considering the possibility that crafting excitement from fear is possible since they're so close to the same feeling. Not always possible but sometimes. Let's see.

1. When performing? I'm sure it's possible. Might take some practice but totally doable. This is going to mean I need to create more opportunities to practice.

2. Before surgery? Um, no. Or, perhaps maybe but that's not the kind of person I want to be.

3. On a date? I'd say that not only is it possible to make the change, it might even be crucial to success.

4. Before a test, say your driver's test or the LSATs or whatever? Sure. I'm not a testing geek but I'm a geek in a lot of other ways so I can see how it could happen.

5. Before an audition? Technically it's performing so I think it is possible and I'd even refer you to #3 regarding success. However, I'll also refer you to #1 regarding practice. So much practice.

6. While giving birth? I am told this is possible. I think these people are nuts but I cannot speak from experience on the subject (and hope I never will) so I'm going to choose to believe them without testing their results.

7. While traveling, especially flying? This is entirely possible and I'll tell you how I know. Many years ago, just when I was beginning to get nervous about flying, I told a friend. He said that whenever he flew he looked out the window for takeoff and that moment, you know the one, just when the wheels leave the ground, is so miraculous that he's always thrilled. Now I look out the window and wait for that moment on every flight and, even if I feel a little fear, I get a rush of excitement when the wheels leave the pavement.

8. When facing up to a mistake? I get the worst bad stomach and crazy head when I've screwed something up at work or with a friend. It paralyzes me more often than not. Even when I know it's not so big a deal I am afraid and I don't even know of what. Will I be fired? Will the friend leave me? Will there be yelling? Physical violence? Will I have to stare at disappointment all over a face? Who knows? Maybe it's the uncertainty of not knowing. I don't know how I could turn this around.

9. Heading off to war? You know, I'd like you to stay at least a little scared. I like to think it keeps you safer.

10. Accepting an award? "Why would you be frightened to accept an award, Kizz?" I hear you ask. Because I can be frightened about anything. Are you having cold cuts for lunch? I'm a little nervous for you. However, I could, I truly believe, turn that around in the case of a real live opportunity to deliver some of my most practiced speeches to an audience of millions, or even tens. Yeah, yeah, yeah, awards don't mean you're the best at anything, but they do mean that someone's been paying attention to your work and that? That's something to get excited about.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Have Cape, Will Travel

My friend, Mark, is one of those people you just want to have around. He's a good conversationalist, an easy networker, he's smart, funny, kind and empathetic. When things are going well you want to be sipping a beverage and chatting with him. When things take a wonky turn he dons his cape and becomes SOLUTION MAN!

I met Mark when we worked for a fancy person who, for our own safety, shall remain nameless. During an especially hard year he made doing my job easier. Since I have moved to working for less fancy but infinitely kinder folk he still makes a practice of making my job easier. Have a blackberry question? Need a particular sort of wrench to fix your copier? Wonder which of a thousand tech solution links actually answers your question? Mark can help you with that. Not only can he help you with that he will help, happily, with minimal fun-making of your fumbles.

The day before the Mermaid Parade he tweeted, "Anyone going to the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island?" I told him not only was I going but I was marching and there was room in our group for the right kind of person. He, rightly, assumed he was that kind of person and had the foresight to ask if we had a theme so he could put together a costume.

On parade day, due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, I was an hour late to our meeting place. Mark's first question upon my arrival? "Do you want a drink?" I did. Very much. He bought two since I was vague about what type of beer I wanted. He figured we could each start one and switch halfway through. Undeniably brilliant, that one. He also bought beer for my friends, Teddy's Girl who had come with me and Carmencita who he'd met for the first time an hour before and been hanging with while they got ready.

Carmencita later explained that, a few moments after he approached and introduced himself, she set to work assembling the pieces of her costume. This means that Mark had known her for all of about five minutes before he was required to keep up his end of a polite conversation while she sewed a homemade shrunken head to the center clasp of the bra she was wearing. Not everyone can pull that sort of Miss Manners task off but he can. When she moved on to securing tulle to the shoulder straps he even offered to help!

I only brought three matches and the fans at Ruby's were going full bore. Not an issue for Mark, he came up with a light bulb app on his phone that, when you blow on the phone, turns the light bulb out. As good or better than real candles if the birthday girl's face is anything to judge by.

When I shoved my phone into my Hillbilly Holster (bra) he only commented mildly, "That's a trend I'm not entirely comfortable with." An hour later as I peeled the phone away from my sweaty skin and wiped off the display and camera lens with the lining of my skirt he handed me a real holster and said, still mildly, "At least use this." He then commandeered the luggage cart from me and, in his costume as World's Worst Lifeguard (the rest of us were all dead), he toted our baggage and held our group number high and pointed out photos I should be taking. All, of course, while taking notes on parade management ideas for his work with the German-American Steuben Parade of New York. Even when we got to the beach afterwards he wouldn't pass off the heavy burden.

I will admit that having this much help can be addictive. It's far too easy for me to slip into a state of utter helplessness when so much help is so freely given. However, I promise that it wasn't on purpose that I went swimming in the Atlantic Ocean with two SD cards for my camera in my swim skirt pocket. I could, though, have taken some of the petulance of the four-year-old out of my tone when I came from the sea dripping salt water onto Mark's toes and declared, "I fucked up. Can you fix it?"

He did.

I try to say thank you early and often but it's possible that there aren't enough thank yous in the world to get the message across. If that's the case one little blog post may not help either but I figure it couldn't hurt, right?

Thanks again, Solution Man. If you're even in need of cape repair I'll be happy to help.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

If You Thought The Last One Looked Like a Double Exposure...

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Box Full of Rage

At the vet. If cats ran klout my score would be plummeting.
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Roaring Through

I'm often lucky enough to have big chunks of time at home. After all the socializing I've been doing I manufactured a little extra time here this weekend. I've been working at home today and getting in some work on the home in the interim. Tomorrow I have a singing lesson but that's the only obligation. Saturday there's a vet appointment and a birthday dinner with movie. Sunday is free free free. So ideally I'd like to get all the musts out of the way before Saturday's birthday stuff and then be able to feel good about doing a whole lot of nothing on Sunday.

Traditionally I do my loafing and resting early and then that bleeds over into the entire rest of the time off so that not only am I not free to rest on the final day I feel worse than I did at the beginning of the weekend. I know this is an issue for a lot of people. I'd like to head it off at the pass. Today, since I've had small bits of time in between work obligations, I've actually been pretty productive. Groceries are here, fridge was cleaned for them, dishwasher emptied, some photos processed, the parade luggage unpacked and there's laundry working. Oh and last week's laundry was finally put away.

How to keep up this momentum tomorrow and Saturday? Is the carrot of a guilt-free day off on Sunday enough? Do I need baby carrots throughout the weekend? How do I make sure rest breaks don't expand to epic proportions? How do you do it? I can use all the advice I can get.

Also, why does it suddenly smell like chlorine in here?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quick Hit: The Drill

I was just going to read one more blog off the reader while the mermaid photos were uploading. When I saw the title I knew what was coming and I read anyway. It's what you do. Over at Sundry Mourning Linda let readers know that her beloved Dog died today. It was time and they were with her when she went but that doesn't make it suck any less shit. (The final photo in the post is the winner. I loved it the first time she posted it and I love it even more now.)

You know the drill, extra treats and love for everyone in honor of a great dog.

Photo Challenge: RAPTURE

I wish I came up with prompts like this more often. I love what you all offer every time but in this instance, I don't know, we got some special entries. They didn't all fit here so please, please, please go to the Flickr Pool to see what I had to leave out. (You get that I include one shot from each photog here but many folks contribute more than one pic to the pool, right?) It's true of every challenge but this time especially you're missing out if you aren't checking out all the entries.

Elephant Soap made this especially for the prompt and I am just in love with it. How did she get the lighting so perfect? What's she looking at? Is she wearing undies?

Fondofsnape made the decision making process hard for me. She included shots from near where I grew up and of things and people I love. This Croque Madame from Les Halles finally just would not shut up until I posted it, though.

I think lshykula needs to copyright protect this shot ASAP because some religious group is going to co-opt the image for all their rapture needs. Beautiful!

Jaruud also contributed a picture worthy of the Saturday Evening Post. View this one large, though, and check out the baby's eyes. If you aren't laughing as hard as I do every time I look at that chubbin you are dead inside, truly dead. I can't help you. I love this shot.

My dog loves to run. That is all.

This prompt thing, why is it so tough for me? I think I put too much pressure on myself and don't just let the ideas flow. I've landed on COUNTRY for our next challenge. Don't think I need to explain that since the deadline is the day after Independence Day. (Interpret as you will. Please!)

Please add as many photos as you like to our Flickr Pool by 9am on Tuesday July 5 for posting on Wednesday July 6. Please tag with PhotoChallenge and COUNTRY. Drop me a line in the comments or by email if you have any questions.

As always, thanks for participating. I love doing this and I hope you do, too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Decade of You

It seems appropriate that Alita should turn 10 on a 10 Things Tuesday. I could write 10 lists of 10 things about her and still perhaps not be able to stop. However, writing even one list of one item turns me to tears. So I'm giving you 10 pictures instead, since those are each worth 1000 words think how lucky you are I stuck to photos.

Every time I think I cannot love you more I am proved wrong. Happy Birthday, my friend!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Parading Around

I have been so social over the last couple of weeks (I know how many of you must be laughing right now since on your scale it's been like I hardly left the house but for me...) that I am now exhausted. I can't stand the sight of the huddled masses on the train and if one more neighbor decides to just let their alarm, be it bedroom or car, just go off for hours my next blog post will surely be from Riker's Island.

As a result, last night I did not process any photos. Nor did I do any dishes, fold any laundry or cook any food. I lay on the couch. That Falling Skies series with John Carter on it isn't half bad.

Parade photos will come but I have been poking around on Flickr for photos other people may have taken of us because we did get sort of a lot of attention this year. More than we have in years past, at the very least. I've found a few and I'll link to them below with the Flickr screen name of the photographer. Enjoy!

Oh, and P.S. the Rapture photo challenge closes tomorrow and so far there are only three photographers entered. Plenty of room to join us!

lionheart613 again
emmcnamee again
Interesting one by DeLares (Eliud Martinez) with some nice words about the parade, too.
martiner1 again
martiner1 a third time (my fave of the 3, I think)
Pixielated Pixels
Stephen Leong
Meg Williams2009

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Times Square (playing Let It Be) #fb

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Saturday, June 18, 2011


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Slipping Out Of Our Skin

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Waiting to Step Off

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Made up by a pro-am

A very good pro-am.
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Almost There

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Free Play!

The pianos have landed for the summer.

Expect a lot of these kinds og updates today because I'm headed to the Mermaid Parade.
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Thursday, June 16, 2011


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Seat mate

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Tonight's Entertainment

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Step 2: Secure table at restaurant

I am a first responder in these situations.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tonight's Entertainment

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NWW: Bananas Are Evil

The other day Pony Express sent me an article with the subject line: Flaming Dessert Injures Four At Florida Restaurant.

I've always told you that bananas were evil but did you listen to me?

These pictures are from a little birthday get together I attended on Sunday.

We broke a lot of laws while we got together.

But at least no one got injured by dessert.