Friday, April 11, 2014

A quick list of nice things

One of my favorite blogs (hei astrid!) features a regular weekly themed post called "Things I like lately," which is always one of my favorites to read. I thought I would borrow the format (with proper attribution, of course, though many blogs have a similar theme).
  • Springtime on its way: There's daylight until 7:30. Daffodils, snowdrops, and crocuses are all slowly wrestling out of the ground.
  • Celebrating Jordan's 30th birthday (last month): we had a great meal at Roberta's and it was just about perfect.
  • Starting to take a multivitamin. They make gummy vitamins for adults!
  • Visiting Seattle for the annual Cinema/Media Studies conference (last month): Great friends, great food. The Pacific Northwest is wonderful.
  • My sketch journal--last weekend marked 100 days!
  • The Danish political drama series Borgen. So good.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Signs of Spring

Last Saturday was one of the first true spring-like days this year. To celebrate the season, we had an epic NYC outing. It started with a walk across the Queensboro Bridge. I hadn't walked across before, and it's a great little jaunt that takes you past Roosevelt Island and along the tram line. In Manhattan we popped our heads into the Food Emporium, a grocery store nestled under the bridge. The vaulted ceilings and huge old windows are really spectacular. The next stop was a small exhibit of 19th-century toys at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. After that, it was time for lunch at Patsy's Pizza, then dessert over at Wafels and Dinges at the southern end of Central Park. It was a lot of good food. We were then on our way to the public library for another exhibit, but along the way we ran into...a parade! NYC is always having parades for this or that, and this past weekend, it was evidently Tartan Day, meaning scores of bagpipers and Scottish line dancers and even about 75 people walking their Scottie dogs. Such a great event to happen upon. After the parade, we moved along and made it to the public library, where there's an amazing exhibit on children's books (it was quite a children's visual/material culture day!) From there, it was an easy jaunt back into Queens on the 7 train. It was a terrific little adventure and a great way to start the season.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sketching through March

March has flown by, and while I haven't regularly chronicled anything of note here, I've continued to [mostly] keep up with my "sketch a day" journal. It's been a great way to document something each day without the pressure of feeling like I have to be comprehensive. Each sketch is necessarily a snippet or an excerpt--sometimes a highlight, sometimes just a part of the every day routine. Here are a few from this past month: working in the NY Public Library, having pizza with pals, John and Colette playing hide and seek, breaking my back molar on a rock-hard pizza crust (a separate pizza occasion), my collaborative class project with a geology class, and the arrival of our friends' new baby! 

Friday, February 28, 2014

February Highlights (Part 2): Last Weekend

Because I promised myself to get another post before February turned to march. Last weekend it was freakishly warm: temperatures were projected up into the fifties and then slated to drop back down to the twenties (or even teens). We took advantage of the warm, sunny Saturday afternoon to walk around Central Park. It was pretty muddy and really crowded, but so nice to traverse old paths. We made it out of the park on the west side and went to Birdbath for a pretzel croissant and their incredible hot chocolate. On Sunday, we went to the ballet to see Coppelia. I didn't follow much of the storyline (and suspect that there wasn't too much story to follow in the first place), but the dancing was lovely. My favorite part, however, were our incredible seats! We'd waited too long to get tickets, I guess, and the only cheap-o seats left were on the very top balcony on the far, far stage right side. Basically, by turning around, we could see much more of the audience than we could of the stage. There was also a great view down into the orchestra pit. These seats are probably the least sought after, but I was delighted. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Highlights (Part 1)

Earlier this month, my typical Thursday night trip back to NYC was delayed due to snow, so I came home on a Friday morning instead. When I got home, I was tired and opted for a short nap. In typical resourceful fashion, Sprout found a thin patch of sunlight and joined me for a little snooze. The next day, we hosted a dinner party for a bunch of friends. It's fun to have enough plates (and enough seats!) for a big group, and Jordan made a really delicious pasta recipe. Undeterred by the persistent, relentless snow the following weekend, we went upstate for a quiet, relaxing weekend with some of our dear pals. They found a really magical little inn in a small, snowy town and we holed up for two days with good food, good reading, and good music. It has been an intense winter (and February has been an intense month), so it was very nice to slow the pace and winnow down the list of immediate priorities and concerns, if only for a weekend.

Friday, February 07, 2014

On Standby

Nearly two months and not a peep on this site. A disappointment for me, to be sure. I still visit to check out the blog links in the sidebar on the right, and each time I do, I'm shamed by the below post: an old, old one from December (which was old then, as a recap of November). But all is well (very good, in fact) and as I find the rhythm of this busy semester, I very much hope and intend to be back blogging with some regularity (though I'd never make the promise/expectation to write with any frequency). The New Year marked the implementation of a couple of very modest goals. These days I'm keeping a consistent sleeping schedule (early to bed, early to rise). I feel like an old lady retiring by 11 in the evenings , but it feels nice to know there's an end in sight for my work each night, and I wake up feeling better having had a full night's rest. Secondly, when I was in LA over the winter break, I visited LACMA for the first time. Whoa, what a wonderful, enchanting place! While there, I bought a "sketch a day" diary and am loving it. I'm usually really lousy at "do just a little bit each day" kind of activities, but this one is going strong! I'll post some of my daily sketches. I'm off on my train, clacking along past the ice-encrusted Amish fields, through to Philadelphia, then home to New York. Happy weekend!

Friday, December 13, 2013

All harvested and hung up to dry

A few things that happened in November:

1) I spent a week in Montreal at a conference on Special Effects. Not only was the conference extremely enriching and interesting, but I had a great time seeing some pals who are now scattered around the globe (including two that now make Montreal their home). My friend Jeff kindly hosted me and we had some seriously charming times together. Delicious food at Pizzeria Magpie, tacos at Mais, mega delicious sandwich at the Arts Cafe, a talk by Ian Bogost at Concordia, a vernissage for a beautiful illustration/comics show at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. My friend Maggie found an old Lonely Planet guide at her Air bnb, which led us to a great museum about nuns (which is also still a convent!) One night Jeff and I (mostly Jeff, obviously) cooked for our pals Maggie and Michelle, which took us to the amazing Jean-Talon market for food, and then to a little shop where we discovered what is perhaps the world's most remarkable cheese. My time in Montreal also marked our 1-year wedding anniversary. It was very sad to be apart, but we're practical people and will find another time to celebrate. Still, I found time to reflect and think about what lucky and wonderful year it's been.

2) I basically finished out the two fall classes I was teaching. No glamorous links or exciting reports in this respect. We watched some great films, a few films that are not great but that are interesting, talked about them, engaged in various projects and I graded many papers. Together, the students and I weathered the mid-semester slump and emerged (I think) okay on the other side. 

3) I enjoyed some time in Pennsylvania. Took a few luxuriously long leaf-crunching walks as the weather turned from cold to colder. Found myself at the big market a few times. Made it to a cafe that always closes way too early (3pm!?) After several attempts, I got there in time.   

3) Had a most enchanting Thanksgiving break with Emile and her family. The food was plentiful and remarkable, and the baby (toddler now!) was in extra fine form. She treated us to an afternoon of delights.