Friday, June 29, 2007


"Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it's done so far."
-Kermit the Frog, "Rainbow Connection"

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Oof. I'm in the process of pitching a story about the "trash the dress" trend (Hi! Welcome to the Blog Where We Beat Subjects to Death!) mostly because my editor loved the photo I asked to display in the hallway gallery at work and thought it would make a nice spread if it featured a local couple- and yes, the article will most likely* tackle the element of materialism and wastefulness inherent in the discussion and list resources for more noble options in a fair and balanced way.

*I say "most likely" because a reporter will be writing the story, not me, and you know, I'm not allowed to hover over them and push their fingers on the keys I like in the order I want. Well, I guess I could, but I kind of enjoy being alive and stuff. Heh.

So ANYWAY, like a plucky little duck, I put out the call for interested brides on the Stepford message board at thekn0t.c0m- and damn, those bitches are HARSH! I got reported to a moderator, because they thought I sounded too much like a vendor. They accused me of not really being a knottie bride. Which, coming from actual Stepford Wives-in-Waiting, is the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a long, long time.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Good Omens

The apartment is clean. The fridge is stocked with fresh, healthy food. I'm all exfoliated, moisturized, Naired (though I do not wear short shorts) and beeyootified. The camera batteries and cell phones are charging for the week ahead. Four loads of laundry are washed, dried, folded AND put away. The recycling is sorted properly. The car is gassed up. The pets are walked, cuddled and content with a completely fresh litter box for Fred. (Not REALLY a brag-worthy accomplishment, but hey... if you want a fresher house, raise your paw.) The air conditioners are working infinitely better after Joel thought to clean the completely clogged and disgusting filters... oops...

I actually got off my tookus and went to belly-dancing today. I've had something to do out-of-town almost every weekend since...? Gawd... Let's see. I wore the fun fringey hipscarf that Mitzi and Family gave me for my birthday for the first time today, so.... Okay, I hadn't gone since my birthday, apparently. Which was back in the first week of May. Awesome.

It was a much less intense class than usual, which was a nice transition back. We did more yoga today than ever before, though we typically start with a yoga/pilates-ish warmup. As we came out of the final mediation corpse pose bit to wish each other n
"namaste" and dreamily begin the hunt for keys, shoes and gym bags in the fog of relaxed, post-yoga haze, we heard a passing truck made the unmistakable THWACK noise that can only mean one thing... My autobody repair man's kids' college fund just got a little bigger.

A lady came rushing into the studio with the license plate number of the hit-and-run mothertrucker, and while this is not very karmically enlightened of me, I was DEE-lighted to discover that it was not MY vehicle that had been swiped this time.

****Cue Choir of Angels and swirling holy light****

In fact, the damaged car was parked clear on the side of the street, far away from mine. For as much bitching as I do about this Idiosyncratic Life, there are times when I get lucky, I suppose. (Even though I DID somehow break a plastic wastebasket while cleaning, opened a bottle of seltzer that soaked my t-shirt completely down the front, and accidentally sucked the pack of paper napkins and brown lunch bags off the top of the fridge with the telescoping handle on the vaccum.) My car may been spared today from the Weird, Bad Luck Factor, but I'm still me. :)

Have a good day, everyone. I'm glad none of you were parking on Roebling Street in Brooklyn today.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Reading Rainbow

Hi! I know a person who wrote a book! She is nice! The book is called "The Last Summer of the World." This book is about photographer Edward Steichen, his work as a reconnaissance photographer and fine arts pioneer. You should buy this book, because it is sad when artists starve. It's a good novel, but you don't have to take my word for it.

Tongue in cheek Reading Rainbow spoof aside, this book sounds amazing. Emily Mitchell is College Roommate Jo's older sister, and she's gotten rave reviews thus far. Also, when I wanted to cut off 13 inches of my hair in London, she gave me the name of the most amazing stylist, and I loved it. Is that not the very definition of a person whose taste you can trust?

Book good. Read book.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Best. Cracker Jack Prize. Ever.

About a year ago, my sister and my brother-in-law were at a Red Sox game. Manny Ramirez hit a foul ball, a line drive right off the bat into Tom's face. He's totally fine, just an ever-so-slightly visible scar from the requisite stitches above his eye. My sister, on the other hand, is still a little twitchy. I suppose that's what happens after you've followed your husband (bleeding profusely from a head wound) out of Fenway Park on a stretcher, but every time Manny came up to bat at the game on Sunday, we took turns yelling, "Duck!

I suppose it's only natural, then, for Tom to lean over and anxiously inquire, "Who's wounded now?" after I yelled "Oh My God!" and dropped a bag of Cracker Jacks/ And indeed, the look on my face absolutely makes me look like I've been shot in the gut.

In reality, I'm having an ecstatic emotional reaction to finding an engagement ring in my Cracker Jacks.

Oh yes, I was completely surprised. Joel got up in the third inning to get snacks. He came back with a Fenway frank, an open bag of Cracker Jacks and a soda. He was totally playing it cool, finishing off the hot dog, sharing his Coke. I must have stuck my hand in the Cracker Jacks bag, oh, what? Like six or seven times? Finally, I was like, "Ugh, this is too sweet. Take these away from me."

I hand him the bag and say, "Why is it so heavy?" He half-heartedly shrugs, keeping one eye on the game. I look down, and it's a testament to the fact that I'm now completely a multimedia journalist (instead of just a photojournalist) that my first thought was, "Somebody put part of an omnidirectional shotgun microphone in the Cracker Jacks!" not realizing it was a black velvet ring box.

Then I dropped it back into the bag and yelled "Oh my God!" As I'm shaking and telling Tom I'm not wounded, just surprised, I manage to ask Joel to take off the telephoto lens and put on a wide angle. Then the Red Sox scored, and as everyone is cheering and screaming, Joel says, "Are you going to marry me then?"

I said yes and we kissed and Amanda yelled, "She said YES!" and a very nice man two rows down says, "I'm a notary public. I could marry you right now. Well, I could if we were in the state of Maine." Which was a very nice offer.

Best. Cracker Jack Prize. Ever.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Oh, and happy birthday, Annie!

The fact that I can't make it to either of your birthday celebrations is about 1800 kinds of wrong. I send you my love and this blast from the past...

(Sorry, G.)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

We are the Misfits/ Ours Songs Are Better!

First things first, all the newcomers to the blog (hi, friends of Lisa and trash the dress fans!) don't know that my secret superpower is a freakadelic, detailed memory for the good, the bad and the mundane. (Like this one time? Cindy was all, "What the hell was my friend talking about with a dinosaur TV show and "Not the Mama!" and I was like, "Oh, yeah. It was a Jim Henson creation on ABC that used to air on Fridays after the 'Wonder Years' for few seasons in the early 90s, don't you remember?" And everyone else was all, "Huh?")

TANGENT ALERT (we have a lot of them here, folks) I heard this fascinating thing on NPR the other day about how every time a person recalls a memory, it gets etched in their brain all over again in a brand new way and sometimes retrospection and different circumstances change the memory each time. Which explains why sometimes I am wrong. Go, Studio 360.)

Nevertheless, I can remember exactly how I met Andrea (mother of Lucy, sister of Lauri) my first night at S.U. in 1997. We were staying in temporary dorm assignments for band camp (pause for American Pie joke) and we started singing the theme song from Jem, the 80s cartoon about a Blonde Girl Next Door who turned into a rock star with help from a maternal remote computer by touching her magic earrings. We were sitting in the common room surrounded by trumpet players belting out the theme song. We? Are AWESOME. It was truly, truly, truly outrageous. (And yes, I DO remember what I was wearing, my beloved gray hoodie from the Bass Outlet and rose-print pajama shorts from Victoria's Secret, thankyouverymuch.)

AHEM. So I've been having kind of a bad week. Actually, it was crap on toast, pretty much (now with panic attacks! hooray!). I've been cheering myself up with YouTube videos of cartoon theme songs from the 80s. But even better than that, I've discovered the JOY and HILARITY that is cartoon theme songs from the 80s IN SPANISH!

I present to you, the Jem theme song:

AND the same IN SPANISH (Jem es fabulosa,/ Super, super fabulosa)

My favorite part, by far, is the Spanish Misfits. "Somos 'Los Misfits,' Somos mejores!" (You have to read that in a robotic sort of bad ass punk rocker cartoon voice, okay?)

As it turns out, there's a whole WORLD of 80s cartoons on YouTube in other languages. I definitely have to award "Best Translation" to the Gummi Bears. The Spanish version is great because it rhymes, the syllables match,and the words make sense.

Sing along!

"Gummis Son,/
Aventuras sin comparison/
Osos los Gummis son!"

My second favorite is Dutch, because "Ik huppel en spartel, vermetel en dartel" is just fun to say. (Go on, say it out loud quietly to yourself at work. You'll like it, I promise.)

There are many more versions, and I'm sort of amazed that the lyrics and melody universally fit. Then again, it's Disney, so maybe the song was composed with multilingual purposes in mind? You can hear it in Czech, Polish (L!bby family in the hizzouse), Japanese, Swedish, Russian, Norwegian and German, too. And as I scroll to the bottom of the list, I see that I could have summed this whole entry up like this:

Greaattt. Now, if you'll excuse me, I really must get back to staring off into space and massaging my sternum while my heart pounds inside my ribcage at random intervals for reasons entirely beyond my control.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

One Couple, One Dress, 101 photographs

A few weeks ago, I posted an entry about a trend that photographers are calling "trash the dress." I was so inspired by the amazing images on their website that I put out the call for a willing couple.

Lisa and Brian, I can't thank you enough. They were so willing to try anything. It's a tremendous act of trust to put up the money for train fare and overnight accommodation, all so I can lay you down in a less than squeaky clean fountain in your wedding gown.

Finally, I want to thank Michelle, a client bride who has become a dear friend, for being the voice of social consciousness in the comments of my previous post. She rightly pointed out that there are more noble destinies for wedding gowns, including donating the gown to charity. Respectful debate is always welcome here.

For every trash the dress shoot that I book, I will donate money to Brides Against Breast Cancer, a charity that resells donated wedding gowns to raise money for breast cancer education and research. (You can give money, too! Cancer sucks! )

You can see all 101 photos here, but I've chosen some of my favorites to post below.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Oh, yeah...

Remember Memorial Day when I took some photos of your kids playing and eating ice cream? Yeah, that was a couple weeks ago now. I had worked all day shooting prayer services, wreath-layings, parades, so there aren't the usual volume and variety you usually see. Still, I have some cute shots to share. You can see the rest here.

Friday, June 08, 2007

On my my... So many ways to waste your time!

Hi. Do you want to waste some time? Is your boss out of the office today? Are you involuntarily nocturnal like with me with no assignments until 4 p.m. and can therefore surf the Internet at 2:49 a.m. with no real purpose or need to stop? Oh, goody! Because I have some funny links for you!

First up, Passive-Aggressive Notes! I told Gwen about this site and now she's addicted, too. It's a collection of Post-It notes, dry erase board messages and "helpful hints" about everything from office fridge policies to "the Mad Bomber" (my personal favorite).

This is some seriously funny shit. I have have a mind to post the note from my landlady berating Joel and me for accidentally leaving wet laundry in the washer all day on Sunday. He thought I took care of it. I thought he took care of it. We are very sorry.

The note said, more or less "How? How could you go away all day on Sunday? Other people cannot use! This is not OKAY." Yes, it's very annoying, even though the neighbors and I have developed a lovely system of finishing and folding each other's laundry over the years. It's the drama of the repeated question of "How?" that kills me up most. Sorry, Mrs. M.! Sheesh. (Please don't raise the rent again.)

Passive-Aggressive Notes has an excellent blogroll, too, including a link of the The Best of Craig's List (Rants and Raves). I've been skimming these for about an hour now. My top four?

1. "Let us frolic in my totally dope blanket fort"

2. Door to Door Religious Idiots

3. To My Girlfriend's Dogs While Staying With Me

4. My Turtle Needs a Booty Call (Actually, this one is slightly disturbing).

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cupcakes, Clones and Clowns

So many photos, so little time...


First up, Shannon and her friend Tara were having a Fun Girl Weekend For Two in Manhattan this weekend.

I had the tremendous pleasure of joining them for the Sex and the City tour of New York, which took us to many locations where the show was filmed and included cupcakes at the famous Magnolia Bakery.

The tour includes a stop at the brownstone in the Village that served as Carrie's front stoop, which I'm sure thrills the homeowners to no end, having 40 women come by four times a day to pose for pictures. But we did it anyway! Go, us! :)

As the tour was winding down, I looked through the brochure that they give you, complete with bios and headshots of all the tour guides, all of whom are gorgeous, all of whom supposedly "have experience on a film or TV set," only to discover that an old friend of mine from college is a tour guide. She was an extra in "Mona Lisa Smile." That counts, I guess.

I often find myself wondering when and if I'll bump into the old S.U. Drama crowd in Manhattan. (My roommate Erika used to get paid to dress up as Miss Spider in the gigantic Times Square Toys R Us.) In any case, I was glad E. wasn't MY "Sex and the City" tour guide.

It would have been nice to see her, actually... But it would have felt really weird watching her pass out coupons to the adult store where Charlotte
bought her rabbit and listen to her disclose "just to us" places where we could find REAL Jimmy Choos, not knock offs! at sample prices! Just... yeah... awkward much?

You can see a few more photos here, including the one above that I took of people I don't know making out on Fifth Avenue after I accidentally spilled about 15 oz of a 20 oz bottle of Diet Pepsi DIRECTLY into my bag and needed to make sure the camera and lens still worked. (They did. Another expensive electronic device was less lucky. Hate that I'm like this. HATE!)


A few nights ago, Joel and I had a Date Night to celebrate his finishing his masters. We went out to the restaurant on the beach where we had our first date and stopped at a carnival on our way home. Is it just me, or did any other women in my generation grow up thinking that carnivals were the most romantic thing ever? Anyone else? I don't know where I got that impression, probably from the movies, except I can't think of WHICH movie. There's a carnival in "Big" where Josh Whatever His Name Was sees the girl he has a crush on, but she blows him off so he makes a wish to the dobbing devil head thingy and wakes up as Tom Hanks. I don't know.

We didn't stay long, what with the teeny-boppers and the greasy diesel fried dough smell, but we did ride burlap sacks down the Olbigatory Big Slide and play a game of Whack-a-Mole. I won a stuffed dog that looks just like Bella.

She freakin' loves this thing.

It has temporarily surpassed Monkey as the favorite toy.

Bella: I love you! I step on your neck!

For the Fred fans out there, and I know there are a few, here's one where he snuck into the background...

Fred: I love you, too. I am, however, planning to pee on something you like a lot sometime verrrry sooooon....


Speaking of pets, I took some photos of my friend Jen and her pug Smush. Smush is a clown in a fur coat if ever I met one.

You can see the rest of the photos, including some pretty portraits of Jen, here.

Friday, June 01, 2007

More Grad Photos

A slideshow of images from Joel's graduation can be found online here, including the one above, taken in a Dunkin Donuts in honor of my sister, who also let me take pictures in a Dunkin Donuts before *her* MBA/JD graduation.

What can I say? We thought her pillow hat looked like the Dunkin Donuts guy. But also? It was time to make the donuts.

Masters of Farts

Okay, technically, the distinguished European professor was conferring degrees to candidates for the Masters of ARTS, but it absolutely came out sounding like "Masters of Farts," which of course, I found hilarious. By the way, Joel graduated this morning! Yes! That's the important thing! Not the fart joke! Ha!

I am more than a little punchy, my friends, because I have been awake (Can't sleep! Too tired to sleep! I know! It sucks!) for 22 scorching, sun-drenched hours of graduation speeches, processions, and recessions, followed by Still! More! Championship! Lacrosse coverage! At 7:15 a.m., when I was dragging my sorry "The Phrase 'Not A Morning Person' Doesn't Really Begin to Cover It" Ass out to the car, I said, "I AM proud and happy for you; can't you tell by my scowl?"

Anyway, I have distilled the three hour commencement experience into this YouTube video for your viewing pleasure. Lucky for you, it only lasts one minute and 17 seconds AND contains a fart joke in the middle. My sunburned parents are probably so jealous that you get to watch the 77 second version in air-conditioned comfort. :)

Of course, what this REALLY means is that the piles upon piles of thesis data are officially no longer Very Important Pieces of Paper (a.k.a VIPP- heh! Pee pee! I'm totally regressing!) that, if thrown away, could cause a crisis of astronomical proportions. Do you know what this means? It means I can see the floor in the office/second bedroom. I could even vacuum it if I wanted to.

Seriously, though, I have so much respect for Joel. He worked full-time all through his undergraduate and graduate studies, so he hasn't had a break from classes, homework, etc since January 1998. I can't even imagine.

I'm so proud and happy for you, baby. Can't you tell by my crazed, insomniac grin?