Monday, August 27, 2007

Nature Boy says hi

He's in a coniferous rain forest in the Pacific Northwest.

He's doing some pretty kickass work out there, actually.

I'm not jealous of his big fat summer break at all, nosiree! Not me!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Oooh, man. Just when I think that this knife? The one here in my back? Yes. That one.

Just when I think it can't hurt anymore, I'm totally wrong! It's really fun, like a finding a surprise in my box of breakfast cereal, only suckier. A sucky prize!

MMM, I wonder how many bowls of Total I would have to eat to get the same amount of exclusion as this bowl of Sucky Flakes?

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Quiet

Joel just left for his photo adventure in the Pacific Northwest. Like, he just left. I hopped in the shower and started to do all these various and sundry tasks that I was sort of waiting to do after the flurry of laundry, and packing, and gear sorting ("Is this your polarizing filter or mine?") was finished.

And now my EZ Pass billing infomation is all updated, and the mail-order prescriptions are refilled, and the Broadway actress has been contacted about rescheduling her headshot (she cancelled last week because she said "felt too ugly" but I am- hint- 525,600 kinds of starstruck, so I *totally* caved) and now it's quiet.

Too quiet. Fred is asleep here beside me, but Bella may very well be silently plotting a way to get into the Closet of Enchantment and Mystery where we keep the extra food...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Oh, for F*ck's Sake

Someone broke into Joel's car AGAIN yesterday by throwing a rock through the window. We finally figured out what they stole last time (his iPod) even though they left the GPS device. This time they took a plastic cup (Dunkin Donuts or similar) full of loose change. He was like, "Well, at least I have quarters for the vacuum this time... Oh for crying out loud."

The guy at the chop shop where he went for the replacement window the first time laughed at him.

Also? I set my work cell phone (the expensive one that replaced the original that I accidentally got doused with Diet Coke during the SATC tour with Tara and Shannon) on the counter of a deli. In the time it took me to turn around to grab an ice tea out of the refrigerator, the woman ahead of me in line grabbed my phone thinking it was hers.

I didn't notice until two hours later. I called it until it died, tore the car and camera/laptop/video gear bags apart. Luckily, the woman sheepishly brought it back to the deli later that day, but they had no way of figuring out whose it was because it was dead. I got it back, but the whole experience made me want to punch myself in the head repeatedly.

Hate that we're like this. HATE IT. Do you know what I would give to have just one week, just one day, to be normal? I mean, I'll never be NORMAL. I know that. I've made my peace with that.

For instance, this morning Joel asked me what time he should set the alarm for, and I kept answering, "Mr. Salman Rushdie."

Joel: "Listen to me. That is not a time. I need you to tell me a time you want to wake up."

I don't mind being quirky. That said, I don't actually want to wake up at Salman Rushdie O'Clock. For one thing, the ayatollah would be very displeased. I just want to buy iced tea without losing another damn cell phone.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

And now for something completely different...

On Sunday, my parents, Joel and I went to Coney Island. Coney Island has always kind of been tawdry, run down, a place for prostitution, gambling. Even in the 1800s, that's what it was, frankly. They're pretty much tearing it all down once autumn comes and putting up condos. The truth is, though, that the latest "urban renewal" proposal is just one of dozens of brilliant ideas developers have had throughout the centuries. Yeah, centuries. People have been trying "to clean up this town!" since the Spanish-American War. Seriously, Coney Island had problems with gang wars in the 1950s. That's saying something.

Walking on the boardwalk is actually dangerous, with all the boards coming up, splintered wood that nearly slices your ankle when someone else steps on it. I only packed my small camera (okay, it's a 20D, but that's small for me!), one lens, one digital card. I mostly brought it along to take the usual silly pictures of us, the ordinary weekend pics that fill my flickr account.

I wasn't expecting it to be quite as run down as it is- graffiti everywhere, boarded up businesses. The place practically breathes with an audible death rattle. I was completely, totally inspired. I almost wish that I worked for the T!mes, that Coney Island was close enough to my coverage area that it would have warranted an entire picture story. If I had thought of it, I would have been there for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, the most recent hot dog eating contest. I would have tried to get access to the people who still put themselves on display on the "live freak show." Really, they're just working actors in New York, though that is a rarity in itself, depending on who you talk to.

In any case, something captured my imagination, something took hold in my mind's eye. Joel and I definitely plan to go back at least once to do more work like this, on the last summer at Coney Island. Here you are, a complete departure from my usual color palette, cropping style and composition.

For the moment, I'm calling it "Beautiful Decay."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Today I got to photograph one of the world's top neurosurgeons perform cutting edge surgery. It was an unbelievable privilege and fascinating to watch. I felt the same way I did seeing opera in Vienna and hearing the Pope celebrate a Mass (which was also in Vienna, coincidentally, but I didn't have the dehydration issue today).

You can see a slideshow here.

On a silly note, the reporter and I had to get into sterile scrubs in order to enter the operating room. We posed for a quick snapshot in the locker room mirror. George Clooney would never be able to resist us...

Hire a harpist, hump a flip flop

UPDATE: Photos from the weekend are here.

Joel and I went to Lancaster for the weekend to visit Brad- sitting up, talkative, full of helpful advice about the real estate market- and Nanny- as usual, happy to take in the latest Angie-generated multimedia presentation of snapshots from the beach, videos from work and tales from the outside.

We got a lot of things knocked out for the wedding. We met with the caterer, accepted a proposal and put down a deposit (thanks, Mom and Dad). We chose a cake flavor and picked the bakery it will come from. We scouted out a florist, but the actual meeting, design conversation, deposit and contract bit will come later. We ate lunch at the Isaac's in Hershey and decided to have the rehearsal dinner there.

We eavesdropped at a wedding in the Hershey Gardens to check out a harpist for the ceremony. Here's a question for anyone who cares to weigh in. What should we do about ceremony music? Share your ideas!

Here's the thing- we're getting married in the botanical gardens, which has a lot of different sections (children's garden, butterfly house, Japanese tea garden, etc). We're getting married in the Oak Grove, partly because it's more private but mostly because it's shady and more comfortable for the guests than almost anywhere else. The trees also tend to block out some of the noise and screams from the roller coasters.

I already talked briefly with hefk, and I hope she and her husband will sing and play the guitar for one song during the ceremony, and I think College Roommate Jo will sing another one as well. Our options for the prelude, processional, recessional and postlude music are essentially: a CD, a string quartet, or this harpist. Joel definitely doesn't want a string quartet. (I'm not wild about it either; it's just not "us.") Neither of us want to go the CD route. The harpist seems to be a good compromise and fitting with the atmosphere of the Oak Grove. I'm fine with it, but it still feels a little weird and "not us" to Joel. Any other thoughts?


Um, okay. As I read over this entry, I sound like such a plucky, efficient little bride-to-me. Never fear, the idiosyncrasies abound. Here's what the above version doesn't telling you...

1.) When we went to load the car and leave at 6:30 a.m., we discovered someone had thrown a rock through the window of Joel's car. And yet- they didn't steal anything. The laptop was still in the trunk, and the GS unit was still plugged in and visible from the front seat. (We are smart.) The rock was thrown through the passenger window hard enough to rip the upholstery on the inside of the door. He's lucky nothing was stolen. It could have been much much worse, and yet? WTF? Why break in and not steal anything? We had to drive to PA with a broken window because we couldn't leave it parked on the street like that. We only made it one mile before the flapping of the plastic window over the drove me insane, and I had to take it down.

2.) Joel kept referring to the bakery where we were going to taste cakes as "Dingleberry's. (It's called Dingeldeins.) He insists he didn't know a dingleberry was a turd reference. When he got coffee to go with cake at the bakery during our sampling, the lid wasn't on the milk pitcher properly. Milk gushed all over the counter. We rock.

3.) I brought our dirty laundry to wash at my parents' house since I didn't have time before we left. A pen was left in a pocket, and it destroyed about half the load.

4.) I got really stressed out when we were visiting the ceremony site because we couldn't find parking. Then we couldn't find the wedding we were supposed to be watching from afar. The tent wasn't where it was when I was there before, and I got all confused. The wedding coordinator for the site- who was understandably distracted due to wedding-in-progress, but insisted on being introduced to Joel- called me "Sarah." Twice. My dad kept wandering away; Joel kept photographing bugs and flowers while insisting, "I AM paying attention!" as I tried to discuss the merits of a harpist vs a CD. I felt like a no-good, mean bitchy person by the time we left.

5.) We did our 15-second family hug before saying goodbye. When we broke apart, my dad bumped Joel's arm and his coffee went flying. It was a Coffee River on the banks of the Sidewalk Isaac's.

6.) When all was said and done, Joel issued a fatwah against all wedding talk for the next three days. I'm a little worried. I think I broke him.

Once we got home, Bella went berserk with joy. As for Fred, well.... just like when we got back from the beach, Fred was happy to see my flip flop.

I shot a little video of it this time, so here you are, the second installment of the Furry Little WhackJob Series.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Updatey Goodness

Much randomness on the way...

First, Brad is holding his own. The doctors are talking about him possibly going home early next week. Fingers crossed, but it seems that Brad giving up is about as likely as Santa Claus converting to Judiasm, which might be sort of cool actually. Santa converting, I mean. I like my blended holiday traditions of recent years. Happy Hannumas to all and to all a good night. This is all I'm sayin.'

The poison ivy is much better, so I can go about my day without my thoughts being hijacked the sudden need to find the nearest ladies room and scratch! Scratch like the wind! SCRATCH LIKE I'VE NEVER SCRATCHED BEFORE! Whew. It's still ugly, but it's nothing like it was.

Yesterday I bought some hot dogs. Joel and I cooked them on the grill, but we didn't eat all of them. Now I can't find the leftovers. This is really annoying. I want a hot dog, dammit, especially now that I can't find them. Hot dog. Hot dog hot dog hot dog. AND NOW I can't stop thinking about this hilarious essay, written by Christopher Walken, about his supposed love of hot dogs.

"When I make a movie, my hot dogs are my co-stars. If, in the middle of a scene, I decide I want to consume a hot dog, I do so."

Stephen does a great Christopher Walken imitation. I wonder how cross he would be if we all called him at work and asked him to do the Chris Walken hot dog thing. Pretty cross, I imagine. Dammit.

I also updated all the links on the side with recent multimedia work I've done, if that kind of thing blows your skirt up. Also, I made a little flickr set of pictures I took last month at a butterfly garden. I've been trying to master this motion blur effect with butterflies for a while now.

By Jove, I think I've got it.

I just don't like how the smaller aperature needed to expose properly at the correct shutter speed increases depth of field to the point where you can see bricks, etc in the backgrounds. So maybe not. Sorry, Jove.

You can see the rest here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I have poison ivy. Yes, I know what it looks like. When you're as sensitive to the stuff as I am, you can get the rash just from brushing up against the skeleton of the vine; that is, you don't even see "the leaves of three" you're supposed to "leave be."

I did a story about volunteers clearing invasive vine species from a state park. I was careful, but clearly I wasn't careful enough. I think my camera and/or bag brushed up against it, because the rash is all over my neck and chest and the spot on the back of my leg where the camera bag brushes against it.

Misery and woe.


This entry has been brought to you by Debbie Downer. Sorry. I would send you all some of my happy pills if I could.