Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just Throwin' It Out There

I need your help. Obviously.

Reduced to this, am I?

This is my fridge. NOW what?
I love the way my fridge looks: I have no complaints, really:
Seems to be full of healthy food; eggs, veggies, real butter, real mayo, some hummus. skim milk (okay, half and half as well), wheat germ, yogurt (in the back there, not visible) but WTF do I make for dinner? (I have a turkey breast and some veggie meatballs in the freezer. And a pound of bacon in the meat drawer.)
All I need is someone to pull it all together and cook for me.
Don't all three of you answer at once.

Friday, February 22, 2008

SnowCones For Everyone!

...courtesy of Mother Nature. We've got a good seven inches but it's wet and heavy and the air outside is warm, so this shouldn't last long. And don't worry, the library is open!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

We Almost Missed You

The lunar eclipse last night, that is.
This is the best I could do with the point-and-shoot, but you get the idea. Thanks to brother Davo for calling at nine-fifteen to make sure we were watching; we weren't, because we thought it was at ten o'clock. Isn't that what it says here on NASA's website? I looked at it too quickly, I suppose. I guess my picture's of the partial eclipse, then, 'cause it was taken between 9:15 and 9:30, when I got cold enough and went inside.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Greatest View in the Greatest City

We've been finding ourselves in the city quite a bit these last couple of months, most recently last Thursday, when we went to see Joe Henry. (Don't everybody ask "who?" at once.) Henry doesn't get out much, rarely performing live and almost never on the East coast, but he's been in the business more than twenty years, making albums, scoring films, and producing the likes of Solomon Burke, Aimee Mann, Elvis Costello, and so much more. I first heard Joe Henry in 1997 or 1998, when my friend Alan offered me a free ticket to a filming of David Byrne's Sessions at West 54th Street. We didn't know who the guy was (and we couldn't hear music for free on the Internet yet) but Al's friends said the guy was good. They were wrong. He was brilliantly, heart-breakingly great, and I was hooked.
So I was really looking forward to this concert; on top of it being Joe, it was part of the Lincoln Center American Songbook series, held in the Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Time-Warner Center, which we'd not seen before, so there was much glitter and swank to take in as we ascended the escalators. He performed in The Allen Room, a 250-seat piece of heaven that is now My Favorite Music Venue. (There's no photography allowed, so that's a hastily-sketched watercolor you see above, not a surreptitious pre-show photo.) The stage backdrop is just a wall of glass, overlooking Central Park and, what is that, 60th Street? 57th? I'm sure someone will tell me. Anyway, it was a great show, and I hope it isn't another decade before the next one. And y'all should go look up Joe now that it's 2008 and you can, y'know, listen to music for free on the Internet.

New York...Just Like You Picture It

So as I said, we've been traipsing around the city on field trips more than usual this winter. Some have been educational/social, some educational/acquisitional, but the latest were purely fun. Back in January, we were treated to dinner-and-a-show-and-a-ride-in-a-monster-truck by my brother Neil and sister-in-law Sherry, in honor of her birthday. That was a great time. There's the theatre marquee above. (Isn't this post just linktastic?)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Lights! Squad Cars! Action!

And no, again no camera on hand. (It was dark out; we were just on our way to meet friends for dinner, friends who hate being photographed...why would I have a camera?)
The traffic light in front of us was just about to change when two police cars with lights flashing came careening onto Sunrise from the north side of the intersection, and then, from the south side, just as the light changes, come a handful of people running full speed across the highway in front of us. All but one of them are in uniform. Whoa! A genuine fleeing criminal! (Usually we have to be at work to see this.) The guy - tall, white or Hispanic, dark jeans, dark hooded sweatshirt, close-cropped dark hair - (see, there was plenty of light from the gas station, I wish I'd had that camera...) the guy was fast, and was getting ahead of the cops (who were going full tilt but those utility belts have gotta be weighing them down; they carry more stuff than Batman) however by now those patrol cars had turned around and were in close pursuit of the suspect as we pulled away and continued east.
Dinner was very nice, if anticlimactic.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Think You've Seen It All?

Based on last year's exhibition at The Whitney Museum , An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar is a mesmerizing collection of annotated images by documentary photographer Taryn Simon. Her wildly diverse subjects share no common thread, save that all were photographed in the United States. Some things are not all that unfamiliar; depending on where you're from in the U.S., you'll know a little or a lot about the existence of many, even most, of the things depicted. But, you'll not necessarily have seen them photographed, and certainly you'll not have seen them photographed by an artist using a large-format camera and only the available light. I've seen and handled a Braille edition of Playboy, for example, so an image of that didn't do much for me, but I found the photo of transatlantic submarine telecommunications cables reaching land unaccountably fascinating, and the image taken at Tennessee's Forensic Anthropology Research Facility haunting. And, honestly now, what did you think a cryogenic preservation chamber looked like? I certainly didn't imagine this.
It speaks to her remarkable powers of persuasion that Simon was granted such intimate access by multiple branches of government, law enforcement agencies, extremist political and religious enclaves, and private individuals. But of course, not everyone said yes. One notable holdout is represented by a blank page, and an excerpt from their declination of permission. (I shouldn't spoil the surprise. But I never was good at witholding information.) So, spoiler alert, don't click here if you don't want to know: Who's afraid of the big bad camera?

For more about Taryn Simon's work, visit her page on Artsy

If you'd like to check the book out, plug in your zip code here to see what libraries near you own it. (Thumbnail image from