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October 2004

Vanity 6

I was roped into a photo shoot for the annual report that I’ve been working on, which was both a break from the grueling pace of actually designing the report and a chance to get a few decent pictures of myself.

I wasn't the main focus of the pictures: my role was just to look awfully jolly while my friend Jen contorted herself into a number of intimidating yoga positions. Luckily, there were no back bends or women warriors for me. I just held a remote and looked happy to be watching public television. (And since I’m so happy to be working for public television, it was easy to fake it.)

Amazingly enough, out of 268 pictures or so, there were actually quite a few where I didn't look too spazzy, flabby, toothy, or pinheaded...

(Read the rest...)

What the Jesuits Have Done

DR and PJ in DC

My favorite from the pictures I took at BlogJam last weekend.

Brown Belt Hulabaloo

Madness Non-Stop

OMG, is it Wednesday already? The 20th? This is normally the point where I would apologize for being lazy or depressed or listless or something, but for over a week now I have been a machine, folks. I’ve barely taken the time to watch Star Trek, let alone order my thoughts enough to do the blog thang.

Last Friday was my final day at the old job (except that I’m now on temporary part-time off-site status while I finish documenting everything I did while I was there), so there was the expected flurry of vital details to wrap up, and the lunches, and the errands, and the paperwork, etc. I’ve had a pile of lessons and grading for class. (Did I mention that I’m teaching a college design class this semester? I am.) Lots of WYSIWYG stuff to wrap up before tonight's big show, and then a few freelance projects to dive into. This week I started working on a full-time freelance gig that’s had me going like gangbusters, but deleriously happy about it. Lordy! Thank goodness for Halloween-candy-induced warp speed. (Geez, and Halloween is almost here already, isn't it? I better get started on my stressing out about a costume and eventually procrastinating and then doing nothing and feeling boring about the whole mess.)

But enough about me. Here are some things that you should be doing during the next few days:

Old Pals in the Old Town

I miss Brooklyn, a really special place I grew to love. I miss the Newtown gang, some of whom I’ve known for over 20 years now, and the really excellent wives and kids they've accumulated along the way. I miss my own school chums, and my more recent friends, none of whom I seem to get to see enough of. I even miss the Rooster, who I rarely get to spend enough time with, even though we live together and see each other all the time. In theory, I have a rich, full life. It just perpetually feels like I never have time to live it. Luckily, though, I get a few chances to catch up now and again:

At Coney Island

The Sterns frolic

The Ojalvos celebrate

The Jasons catch up

Little Stern

Big Stern

Kitty and Chris

Rachel reacts
(but not to the kitty)

Coney Island Signage

Coney Island Sign 1

(Read the rest...)

Wasted Opportunity

Missed ConnectionMissed Connection (unposted): Skinny, Dark-Featured Guy With Almost-Handlebar Mustache at Gay-IGA — You sat next to me in the first row, right in front of Randy Jones and just to the right of the deaf guy and his ASL interpreter. With your darkish features, facial hair, and mouth you reminded me a bit of Freddie Mercury. You were lean, with just a touch of curvature to the muscles of your arms, and you wore cute sneakers. Your overall body language and the expressions I saw from time to time made you seem a little bashful, which is just too fucking adorable for words. We exchanged glances now and then, but nothing out of the ordinary. We exchanged smiles now and then during funny moments of the presentation, and I know there probably wasn't anything to them but I wanted there to be. Every time our arms brushed I felt a little rush of adrenalin, because I just wanted to lean into you and feel your whiskers brush against mine, feel the heat of you in the middle of that big open room. You didn't jump away when our arms touched, and I imagined that you were trying to touch me without being too conspicuous about it, just like I was doing with you. Even though I'll never know for sure if it was a shy flirtation of just a relaxed lack of consciousness, those flashes of contact were hot and sweet and they gave me a hard-on. I was dressed in conservative work clothes that made my stomach bulge a little more than I wished, and I wished I was wearing something cooler, sexier that might have looked more tempting. When the show was over it turned out you knew the cute guys sitting to my right, but I know you still looked right at me and not at them more then once during the night.

The Laughing Gnome

There is a dwarf that I have never met but who I occasionally have a reason to mention. The fact that this gentleman is a dwarf would ordinarily be just a point of clarification for visual reference, but he is in an unusual line of work — well, two rather common lines of work that taken together and then mixed in with his physical stature make for a very colorful anecdote. The thing is, this dwarf must often be spoken of in subdued tones or vague allusions, such as in a phone conversation I just had here at work, and when you make cryptic remarks about a dwarf with a very colorful background, the moment takes on a very curious vibe, like you're in a Grant Morrison story, or an episode of The Prisoner or Twin Peaks.

Tax Photographs

New York City has been so built up for so long that for all the development that goes on here, it's common to live in, work in, or visit buildings with a colorful history of use and reuse and reinvention that can stretch back for decades. It's usually cheaper and speedier to fix up an old building than go through the hassle and expense of tearing it down and building another on the lot, so even in the years since I’ve returned here I’ve seen places almost completely transformed yet still retain some sense of their past. As Luc Sante (who went to my high school, which has its own 90-year-old building) writes in the introduction to one of my all-time favorite books, Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York, this is a city of ghosts where the old is always showing up among the new.

So I’m totally giddy about a new program that I read about on Gothamist yesterday: the city is selling reproductions of archival photographs of old buildings around the city. Between 1939 and 1941, the city photographed every building in New York City to help with tax appraisal, and now they making prints made from the microfilms of those records available to the public. You need to know the official block and lot number of the property when you order a photograph, but for a 5-buck extra fee they'll even research that for you. This kicks so much ass I can hardly stand it!

I wish the house I grew up in had been around then, but there are still a few buildings I’d consider ordering:

Fancy Couch

Fancy Couch
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