Friday, February 12, 2010


I have been a poor blogger here. Very poor, in fact. That being said, I want to point you to a NEW BLOG of min. This one is themed. This one is hosted on a non-blogger domain. And this one is about environmentalism and urban chicken farming. And this one has real entries, rather than cobbled together photo essays. This blog will still remain for all of that, but to see some more ... finished work, go to:

Chickens in Manhattan (and other digressions)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Apartment Pictures, take two

Okay, now in addition to my office, I have photographed the bedroom which is ... 90% finished. There are some finishing touches, but this is good enough for now.

This is the only photos I'm posting with no flash. The apartment is a duplex with the bedroom downstairs, which is actually the basement of the building. Because of that, the light is always bad down there. We need to get some better light fixtures to really light it up. Also, I realized belatedly that there was still a laundry hamper on the floor in this photo. I removed it for the rest.

The wall color is truer in the no-flash photos. All of the flash photos make the paint look really, really blue when it's really more of a slate blue/grey. We are using the computer as a television and it's living on my dresser for now. Eventually we want to mount it to the wall on a swinging arm so we can tilt it around. For now, it's fine there. The chair in the corner is my boyfriends; I call is the gold monstrosity. He is planning to break it down and recover it. In the meantime, I have covered the most offensive parts of it with a strategically placed kikoy.

This is the corner of my dresser. All of the boxes hold my jewelry. I got the vase in Cancun with Cari. (quote: "Look, all our vase are belong to us!") The prints on the left are some I got the first time I was in Paris. The prints are the back are by Stephen Huneck and B and I got them when we visited St. Johnsbury. There is actually a third, larger print that will be hung with those two that is currently at the framers.

The corner, with another shot of the gold monstrosity. The open shelving holds our extra linens. The cushions on the top go outside when we use the backyard. The curtains are blocking the door to the backyard. (The building in on a hill where the street level is on the first floor, but the backyard level is the basement.)

The other side of the room. The two large prints are mine, also by Rafal Olbinski. The shelves on the back wall have B's ipod dock and our "books to read". Two of those books are his. He seems to think you have to read all of the books that you have before you can buy more, crazy boy. The vase on the top shelf is an old McCoy vase I found cheap in a thrift shop and I liked the asymmetry of it. I am in the process of hunting for an appropriate mirror to put over my dressing table and we still need to tack up the cords.

This is the library desk I got from B's father. B helped me refinish it. The chair is his, and I actually quite like it except that his roommates cat tore a hole in the side. Thus, it is a second, less- monstrous upholstery project. But it is the perfect size and style for my table. My perfumes and cotton balls are on the table, and the little wicker box is B's garbage can. The clothes hamper currently lives by the table, but eventually there will be a small, 20 gallon salt water fish tank there to house B's clownfish.

The last wall. The wardrobe is from Ikea, and B wants to change out the doors for something less ... translucent. The fruit seller lithograph we both loved and he bought it in a housingworks auction.

Last but not least, an aerial view from the stairs.

Also, for those that are curious, here is the before and after on the library table (taken in my old apartment while I was packing, so forgive the mess!):


Sunday, November 08, 2009

The New Apartment

So, I will be posting photos of the new apartment as we get the rooms together. This probably shocks no one, but the first room I managed to get in what I consider to be photography-worth shape is my office.

This is the view from the door. My office is 8' x 10'. The top of my bookcases have some special stuff - other than the ipod dock, there are my antique cameras (a gift from my boyfriend's father), my painted ostrich egg from South Africa and the bleached coral which represents the last items from my salt water tank (which did not survive the move - but I will be back and better and bigger than ever!) The rug is hand woven and purchased outside of Oaxaca, MX.


Here is another view of that wall. The Tosca poster is by Rafal Olbinski and it is the only polish surrealist reproduction poster I have. The birds I got in Xi'an from a street vendor and the green painted fabric art I got in Kenya? I think? Maybe South Africa. It all starts to blend together.

The paint color is Benjamin Moore "Spring Green". The stainless steel cabinet is an old hospital blanket warmer that I found at a thrift shop for $100. It weighs about 700 pounds and my boyfriend said he refused to move it for me ever again. The candle stand will eventually find a home in our bedroom. The print on top of the cabinet I got in Stockholm at the Medieval Museum and the Manhattan print is from Ork posters. I actually need to get a new one as that one was water damaged in the last apartment.

My desk area. The paper lanterns are Ikea. And as a side note, my mom got me the stuffed monkey from Starbucks. I saw it from afar and started ranting and raving about how toy makers always put tails on their gibbon stuffed animals. I opened the tag to wave it around in an indignant flourish and saw that it was supposed to be a mangabey. Carry on Starbux, carry on.

The other half of my desk area.

Back wall. Basket is from Kenya and the carved animals are from South Africa.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


1. I have moved. Moving was terrible, moving was awful and I love all of my friends for helping me. But the worst thing about the move? All of my fish died. Every last one of them. I had a massive tank crash overnight and I woke up to a stinking tank and dead fish. About a third of my corals have survived and are living in B's tank. It is really depressing. I'm trying to look on the bright side - I was going to order a new tank anyway, so I went ahead with that and I am going to start fresh and clean. No more pests (which is what caused the crash in the first place). The apartment is eerily silent - no whir of pumps, no gentle trickle of water. Just ... silence. It has actually made it a little hard to sleep, so much so that B offered to put a powerhead in a bucket of water for me if it would help.

2. We thought we were going to have a whole week to move me, but instead we only had one day. We also scheduled a Halloween party at our new place. Surprisingly, we managed to pull it off with a minimal amount of boxes, and derived great satisfaction from the jealousy of our friends for our real estate success.

3. I saw Margaret Atwood last week and she was great! She signed TWO of my books and I am really looking forward to reading Year of the Flood. It will be the tenth Atwood book that I have read (preceded by (in order): Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, The Penelopiad, Bodily Harm, Lady Oracle and Oryx and Crake.) Thus far, I've felt that she has only made two missteps - Bodily Harm and The Penelopiad. It's funny because I recently finished Lavinia by Ursula K. LeGuin and I was as disappointed in it as I was in The Penelopiad. Maybe feminist authors are stifled by the constraints of a previous story? Either way, Lavinia was dull dull dull. Next up is actually the Butcher Boy for my book club, so I don't have to try and finish this month's book in three days like I did last month.

Okay, I think that's all I have for now.

Monday, October 26, 2009


One of the things I do for my classes is force my students to go to the zoo and actually look at animals in real life. They always complain before, but they end up really enjoying it in the end. Usually I just send them on the own, but we've had beautiful weather this October, so I decided to go along as well.

This was my first trip into the new Madagascar exhibit at the Bronx Zoo, and I must say that is pretty impressive. I like that they have different enclosures representing the different ecological areas in Madagascar. A lot of people think that is is all rainforested, but that is actually not true.

Primates are so photogenic.

Okay, how about a couple of other animals ....

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I am moving. How, how HOW did I amass so much stuff in such a small space? I haven't been posting a lot of photos lately. I have a backlog, from the summer, from Vegas, from Pennsylvania but I've been working and getting my things together to move.

Here are two small offerings from Franklin, PA.

Oh, and my baby has blue eyes!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Apple-y goodness

I just got back from Franklin, PA - home of my boyfriend's parents. [insert ominous music HERE]

It was actually a really good time. His parents are both very, very nice and didn't even ask me if I wanted to go to church with them. His dad is a retired electrician who has gotten into selling antiques. He has a garage full of stuff he's picked up at auctions, yard sales and flea markets and he pretty much just let me go shopping in it. I picked up two, working antique cameras (picture of those and from them forthcoming) and a gorgeous library desk with serpentine legs probably circa 1925 for my television. B and I are going to refinish the table which is covered in horrific paint to make it look like zebra wood. We think the table is made of walnut and poplar which should stain up really nicely when we are finished with it. B's mom wanted to feed us the entire time, and food from Easten Pennsylvania is very midwestern. Mmmm, mashed potatoes and chicken fried steak (chicken fried chicken for me) and their "secret family receipe" which involves boiled eagle brand milk, canned pineapple, whipped cream, and about two pieces of iceberg lettuce, which is what I guess makes it a "salad". I also met two of his three sisters, his grandmother and his aunt, as well as some assorted neighbors and friends from high school. Growing up in a small town is very different than where I am from.

This was also applefest weekend. The air was crisp and cool, but not too rainy. Sadly the leaves haven't really started to turn yet, but I came home with a peck and a half of fresh picked apples from one of the orchards over the hill. I got a half peck of Macoun, a half peck of honey crisps and a half peck of empire apples. I probably won't eat them all before they start to go soft, but when that happens B and I are just going to make applesauce of them and jar the rest. I also got a gallon of fresh pressed apple cider (like, pressed two days before I got it) which is DELICIOUS. Unpasteurized. Awesome. The best apple cider ever. B got five gallons of it to make hard cider; mine is destined for mulling spices and some Meyers dark. His mom also gave us a bucket full of fresh peppers from the garden, and some frozen deer steaks and sausage (not in a casing, frozen flat somehow). Since his dad is going on a hunting trip in Colorado next week, I think they figured they might as well clear some space for the deer and elk that are coming back with him. I have never eaten venison, but I am game to try it. (Get it, game? game?!)