howl.

2.23.2010

speaking of last weekend . . it was kind of the best ever. i know that i often say things are the "best ever", but seriously. it was really really great. admittedly, there was one period of about 15 minutes where jesse and i got all snappy with each other, but we were HOWNGRY, and that is a basic human need that supersedes all courtesy. in my book. all snappiness dissipated at the mercy of some delicious fresh-from-Eastern-Market goat cheese and basil ravioli, a little salad, and some crusty french bread. i'm giddy just remembering it.

it was also a fantastic music weekend, commencing with J. Robbins playing an acoustic set accompanied by my pal Gordon Withers on cello. oh the perks of living in DC. muy bueno. many old Jawbox and Burning Airlines songs were played and i sat there recording video on el iphone with a slap-happy perma-grin on me face. one of my favorites:


fast forward to sunday evening. FINALLY reunited with my old friend Vincent whom i hadn't seen in like 12 years. he and another old friend, Andrea, are in the very awesome metal band Howl from Providence, RI. they're on tour and came through DC and i made it happen, cap'n.

firstly . . it's really crazy to see someone after 12 years of minimal communication and then just sit down and hash out some real life shit and have a great conversation and realize you're so in sync after all these years. i always held Vincent in the highest esteem and the guy is still completely solid. squish.


secondly . . Howl. is. great. GO SEE THEM. they put on an awesome show, have great stage presence, killer music, and, even more importantly, have great hair. this is one of my favorite photos from the night because, um, hello?! andrea!! hair!!


and then this one because . . well, just look at these guys. the flash pointed up from the floor made them seem admirably sinister.


and more.


*click for bigger*

in summary, a culmination of events that have led me to revel in a state of content all week. i win.

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50mm lens: day 1.

2.21.2010

i finally got my paws on the nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens. meaning that after it sat in my amazon shopping cart for about 5 months, i pulled the trigger. i don't know what i was thinking - it isn't even expensive, as lenses go. i was just being an idiot. now you can breathe easy because i gave up moronique and my "little bag of tricks" has evolved into my "medium-sized bag of tricks".

all last week i kept checking the delivery (ha! just typed "devilry") status to see when it got to my apartment. i could barely wait to get home from my week at work and tear open the box. but when i walked in and saw the box sitting there, for some reason i exercised quite a bit of restraint and said "no. not yet. gym first." man. what dedication.

these photos are by no means great, but they are from my first 24 hours with the lens. it's hard to get used to a fixed lens. i put the viewfinder up to my eye and keep having to back up. then back up some more. and maybe a step or 2 more. and since this is my first lens with such a low f-stop (yeah yeah the f/1.4 lens is better, but it's also $330, so this will suit me juuuust fine), i cranked it all the way down to 1.8, but that doesn't work in most situations. so you know, yeah. yay. new toy. !!

first up, one of my favorite photographic subjects: my 25 cent globe:


base of said globe and a little pretty thing:


polaroid garland:


homemade chocolate chip cookies via the only recipe that matters:


and finally, jesse's "blue steel":


not bad for a first day.

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grandma's sketchbook.

2.14.2010

i don't remember how i came to possess my grandma's sketchbook (it probably involved me stealing away in the night, rooting through my parents' hiding places - sorry mom - and stuffing it under my shirt to get it out of the house), but it is one of my most treasured possessions. i've already gushed about how talented and inspirational my grandma was, and now i can put my money where my mouth is and share with you one of my favorite things.

this sketchbook is nearing a state of "decrepit". the pages are yellow with age and the paper is so very brittle. inside the front cover the year is handwritten - 1938. my grandma was 24 years old that year.


some pages are feature studies . . one page is just eyes . . one is just lips:


then there are portraits of lovely ladies. their eyes are so beautiful. and their hairstyles. i love it. one page had a pressed flower - she was fond of pressing flowers and keeping memories:

the girl with the braid - i love this drawing. the look on her face is amazing. she's so serious, i love it.

she also did a self-portrait, and it's so lovely:



but these are my very favorite pages in the book . . because they are so unusual. i look at them and wonder what she was thinking, why she drew these, and i remind myself that it was 1938. amazing:


it's so interesting to see what she writes on these pages, how she signs her name, which is completely different on some of the drawings (using her given name, Marguerite, or her commonly used nickname, Billie). i'm so happy i have these.

that's a good start to monday.

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i don't care what they think.

2.10.2010

my winter coat (previously called my "usher coat", heretofore referred to as my "p. diddy coat") is borderline ridonk. i wear it and people clear the sidewalk. i only assume it's because they conclude that i am a famous rapper and an entourage must be in tow.

but i don't care what they think. because this coat keeps me warm like nobody's business. and in case these people haven't noticed, there is a full-on blizzard up in here right now.

i did get to leave the house yesterday (briefly) (and in aforementioned coat) to go get groceries and the grocery store was in a pathetic state. the shelves were barren and picked over. there were no eggs, no milk, and hardly any meat (not MY problem).

by the time i got home i was sweating because of the awesome power of the p. diddy coat. underneath i had on only a tanktop. ha! take that Blizzard of 2010!

this diagrammatic photo doesn't do it justice, but man, this coat. somebody get me a chain from jacob the jeweler and i'll be complete.



clearly, i need to get out more.

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snow schmow.

2.07.2010

as all the people of earth know, DC just got slammed by the biggest snowstorm since like 1922 or something. since before any of us can remember, that's for sure. when we temporarily lived here last summer, we asked everybody what the winters were like. everyone told us they were mild, hardly ever any snow, etc. etc. i thought the snow a week ago was sizeable, and after it, the news was saying how DC was at 300% of it's average snowfall. so now that there have been like 24 more inches this weekend, well, you do the math. i'm pretty sure it's around eleventy-billion% above average now.

here's where you might expect me to show you lots of pictures of the snow and snow hijinks. the problem is: i just don't want to go out in it. it's cold, wet, and makes my nose run. plus i don't have any water-proof gloves or boots that have traction. it would be fun for about 5 minutes, then fun would quickly decline into misery. i decided to get out there for a quick minute friday night to execute an idea: i wanted to take a picture of this tree across the street from us - it's branches were perfectly coated with snow - whilst shooting my flash up into the branches. it didn't work out as i hoped, but i like this one because you can see jesse in the lower right corner, dutifully holding the flash for me:


mostly, it was just all snowing and wet and i fumbled around with my camera and went inside shortly thereafter. jesse made a snowman, then he and our friend nick fackler (visiting us for the weekend), went out around 2 am and made FIVE more awesome snowmen. i went to bed. so what if i was a party pooper? i got some really great sleep.

i don't know what it is about snow, but it just makes me want to . . nest. i want to clean, but in a crazy, frenzied sort of way. i cleaned and polished all of the stainless steel appliances. i polished the flattop on the stove. did lots of laundry, including the sheets and blankets. vacuumed and mopped. and i got really mad if anybody dropped crumbs on the floor.

i also baked. and, dammit, i should KNOW better than to stray from the tried and true NestlĂ©® Toll House® cookie recipe (that i know by heart . . seriously . . ask me and i will recite it for you). i've tried 2 or 3 other chocolate chip cookie recipes and they are nothing but disappointing in the end. no matter how amazing these people tell me their recipes are, or how awesome the photos of the cookies look, forget it, sister.

so big fail on the cookies. i am literally throwing them away as they brought no joy to any of us. i made some blueberry muffins (from the box) for breakfast to redeem myself, only to find that they were a whole wheat concoction* that was massively inferior to (yet healthier than?) the standard. breakfast was decent though. muffins, awesome nick fackler eggs, and the boys had bacon.


while the boys went out to play and build snow forts and have snowball fights, i stayed in and got everything together for my taxes, went to the gym, and cleaned some more. they returned all wet and exhausted. i had not left the apartment all day and was experiencing some cabin fever, so we tried desperately to find some place open for dinner to no avail. couldn't even get a dang pizza.

the road looks treacherous and i'm scared to even try to get out there in my RWD "sportscar", so who knows when i will make it out of here to richmond for the work week. oh and we're supposed to get another 5-10 inches tuesday and wednesday. gaaah.

if you don't hear from me in 2 days, send reinforcements. or at least cupcakes.

*two words: fine print.

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