Archive for October 2007
Nevada sunsets are so beautiful. Only made more beautiful from the smoke floating here from California due to the huge fires. Well, California is being burned alive, and we here in Nevada get pink and orange and purple in the sky like I’ve never seen.
I like the street lights in this picture. They remind me of birds, like cranes sleeping on the banks of the river.
Currently listening to Be He Me by Annuals
428 days. That’s how many days it’s been since I’ve had a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee.
6 am, August 28, 2006, as Maggie and I rolled out of Boston towards Pittsburgh (and me eventually towards Las Vegas) we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts one last time, where I got a large coffee, the celebratory last DuDo* hurrah before embarking on a Dunkin’ Donut-less future out west. And I savored it.
Well, more than a year later, I as I am writing this, and sitting at my computer here in Las Vegas, I have a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee sitting here with me. And it is amazing. JUST as amazing as I remember it. Super cheap, super delicious, and filled with a cocaine-like substance that will have me driving there every day to get some of that delicious morning beverage.
Two Tuesdays ago, the first one here in Vegas opened with much ado, about two miles from my house (hooooow convenient! so close!). There have been lines out the door everyday, and I haven’t been motivated to stand in them, so I waited a couple weeks. (although I did take a couple of pictures of the exterior one morning, as the shot above and below)
Tonight, after dinner, I felt it was time. My coworker Derek, who is also from the east has been talking with me about it ever since we found out it was going to open. I couldn’t wait any longer. I got in my car, drove over there, and only had to wait in line about 4 minutes, before I ordered a medium coffee, with cream and sugar, of course, and a vanilla creme donut.
I got home, and ate the donut in, oh, about 45 seconds. The creme part was good, but the donut was ‘meh’. I’ve never been a fan of Dunkin’ Donuts actual donuts, to be quite honest. They’re always a bit too dry for my taste. It’s the coffee that’s the real prize.
I’m so happy.
*Dunkin’ Donuts short name for the uninitiated.
Here are a couple of more shots of the new D’D. The reason why the last picture is so blurry is because I took it in a hurry, so no one would see me (I was angry that my flash betrayed me and went off) because, how embarrassing is it to be photographing a donut shop? Real embarrassing. Who does that? People like me, I guess.
Currently listening to my happy tummy.
So, something unprecedented happened tonight: I sat down in front of a TV to watch a sports game. The last game of the 2007 World Series.
Oh, sure, I’ve been to Super Bowl parties where I “watched” sports on TV, (but really was just there for the food and the funny commercials). I even sat down to “watch” part of the World Cup last summer, although mainly I was interested in the amazing gnocchi the bar was serving up during the game.
Something about televised sports games has always left me feeling, oh, I don’t know…bored out of my skull. But tonight, I watched 5, repeat: 5 innings of the baseball game, and by myself to boot! There was no one there I was humoring and no boys to impress, I was simply interested in watching the game. Why, you ask? Well, I have a special place in my heart for the Boston Red Sox after having lived in Boston twice for a total of three years, and I wanted them very much to win the game.
And I knew that this game was going to be the championship for the Sox if they could win. And boy, did they ever! That game was exciting, especially the last inning! I was so into it, that I even shouted with my fists in the air when they won! How uncharacteristic of me. I reminded myself of my Mom when she gets excited about OU football games. My roommate came running down the stairs, in her robe, all concerned and discombobulated. “Is everything ok?” she said. “Yeah, Sox just won the World Series.” “Oh,” she said, and went back up stairs. Well, she’s a football fan.
Well, good for the Red Sox. They’re a great team, they’re from an even better city.
I was living in Boston when the Sox won the World Series in 2004. I remember it quite clearly: Danny and I, who weren’t watching the game, turned on FOX to try to catch Sunday night Simpsons. However, instead of my beloved yellow TV family, there was a field and a ball and bats and men. Oh yes, I remembered: It was the final game for the Red Sox that night in St. Louis. There had been much hype in Boston, every single person was wearing something Red Sox. People were biting their knuckles and cheering and the whole city felt electric, waiting to see if the Red Sox would break their 86 year losing streak.
When the final ball was hit and the point was scored and the Red Sox won, wow, something very unusual and great happened in Boston. The entire town screamed, in unison. Danny and I were sitting on our shitty couch that we had got from the dumpster, and through our open windows, a shrill, crescendo of a scream storm exploded from what seemed like every angle of our neighborhood.
Danny and I ran to our neighbors, Chris and Carolyn’s, house, they handed us celebratory beers, and we all ran out into the night screaming. We weren’t baseball fans, at least not me and Danny. But it was something to celebrate, and mobs are fun, at least when they’re happy.
We ran down our street out to Harvard Ave, where bajillions of the hipster Allston residents were descending upon the streets in a giant tidal wave. There were cops standing on the street corners, prepared to deal with the masses, and beer was everywhere. People were hi-fiving each other, women were flashing strangers, enemies were kissing and hugging, and peace and drunken loveliness reigned over the city as Boston sighed a collective sigh of relief and validation after those 86 years of loss.
I never saw anything like that celebration, and I probably never will again. It was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of sports spectacle where everyone was super happy and in love with their home-town baseball team.
I am happy for Boston this evening. Wish I could be there. I am certain that some sort of crazy celebration is happening this very moment in Bean town. There’s no way it can equal what I saw as I ran through on the streets screaming on October 27 2004.
Currently listening to Kind of Blue by Miles Davis
As I type this, at 9:19 pm on Friday, October 26th, I am DONE with RD&E magazine and it is uploading to the FTP server of our printer. YAY!I don’t have any copies of it in hand yet. I am coming back into the office on Sunday to check the blue lines.
I am very proud!
I designed everything in this baby…the logo, the cover, all the features, every single last element on every single page, save the ads (although I DID design one ad as well). It was a ton of work, but it is over now and I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve been spending a ton of late nights at the office, but this weekend should be relaxing. Yay.
Currently listening to Absolutely Worthless Compared to Important Books by Tiger Tunes
I made a paper-mache (papier-mâché for you purists) donkey mask for my Halloween costume that I am very proud of. I took pictures of the process of making it, and am going to post it here, so if you want to be cool and make one, you can too.
Stuff you need:
Crazy hair-brained idea for mask you can’t find in store, or, like me, are broke and need a Halloween costume or your friends will make fun of you. Yep, this is pretty cheap to make and is better than wearing that same tired Sexy Witch costume you’ve worn for three years in a row.
form (balloon or cardboard box)
white glue, and maybe wood glue if you have it
office paper (regular white printer paper, about 50 sheets)
gesso (optional but nice)
paint and brushes
packaging tape (probably optional too, depending on how complicated you get)
some bubble wrap if you got it as well (for padding on your face)
string, elastic or silk scarf (to hold it on to your head)
Now, before I begin, most people use a balloon as a form and then pop and remove to leave a light-weight mask that’s only paper-mache. However, the shape of my mask was a bit more complicated, and I left the cardboard in side it.
Cut some more pieces to fill out the head. I glued it all together (careful to cut some eyeholes) with Elmer’s Wood Glue, which works surprisingly well on cardboard. I left it open at the bottom and back so I could get my head into it. Try the mask around your head in this early stage to make sure you can stuff your face into it. (That’s what she said!)
There are a lot of recipes for paper-mache that involve newspaper and salt and wheat flour, but I found a simple one that uses regular white bond office paper and a paste of half glue, half water. Very simple, and super effective. Forget the news-paper and wheat flour (except use the newspaper to do this project on, because this stuff is messy), do the glue and office paper recipe, I got it from this website, which was very helpful.
Cut the sheets of office paper into 2 inch strips. Pour one bottle of white glue (I used a knock-off of Elmer’s brand) with equal parts water, mix. Use a bowl you can throw away later, because the glue will dry on it, making it disgusting and you won’t want to eat off of it afterwards anyway.
Dip paper strips into the water-glue mix, just for a second. Take out, and wipe off excess glue. Put on form. Put 3 or four overlapping layers over the whole form. Don’t forget to criss cross the paper as you layer it, because it makes it stronger.
Before I started painting, it, I covered it with a coat of white acrylic gesso. If you don’t have gesso, you don’t have to do this step, but I highly recommend it, because it helps smooth over the rough edges, plus it makes it much easier to paint on later. In this stage, I have painted a dark brown over half of it.
Now, to get it to stay on your head, you can use elastic string and staple a piece to your mask in traditional paper-mask fashion. However, if your mask is frikkin’ heavy like mine, do this: Drill some holes on either side of the back edge of the mask (I used a swiss army knife on my keychain cause it was handy) and then stick a sharpie or a pen through them and twist it around to make a nice, even circular hole. I coated the holes with paint to seal the edges and make them dull and smooth, so the scarf I threaded through it wouldn’t snag.
Then I took a long scarf and threaded it through the back of the mask like a shoelace (I bored three holes on each side) and then was able to lace it up around the back of my head which worked really nicely. But I’m sure you could use string too.
Overall, it was a thoroughly satisfying project and I highly recommend doing it. It was fun and cheap and everyone loved it at the party I wore it to (or at least they said they did!).
PS: Why did I choose donkey? I have a comic (that I’ve been neglecting) but it’s going to be all about donkeys. My friend Justin is writing it and am drawing it.Here is the first page (click).
Currently listening to The Shepherd’s Dog by Iron & Wine (over and over)
Man, oh man. What a week. I have been at the office every single day this past week, working tons of overtime trying to get ads done for CCNV, RD&E designed and assembled, GGBW newsletter made, and business cards for GGB. I would spell out all those letters, but I’m lazy and you don’t care. It’s just business stuff. Know this: I’ve been working my ass off. I stayed until 8:30 on Friday, worked from 10-6pm on Saturday,and 1:30 to 8:30 today. There’s still so much to be done before a big
deadline on Wednesday. I’m a little stressed out. I kind of want the next week to be over so I can put all this behind me. I planned to stay later than 8:30 tonight, but I hadn’t eaten in a long time and I started to get shaky and angry, so I left.
To make matters worse, yesterday, one of my coworkers decided to have a casting session for this side movie project, and told no one. I went into work at 10, expecting to be super productive and get a bunch of stuff done, but 1:00 toddlers and parents started pouring in the door and taking over the lobby next to my cubicle. I had children staring at me, and basically started functioning as a receptionist for parents with model/actor children. Ugh. I got all pissed and indignant, seeing as I didn’t know it was happening when I went in that morning, nor did I even know he did that kind of stuff.
I yelled at the coworker and told him that if he had something planned at the office for Sunday, he better fucking cancel it. He did, which was nice of him. Since I was the only one working in the office (besides Mr. Child Movie Caster) I called my coworkers. They were shocked, stunned. They had no idea it was going on either. At least they’re on my side. The whole situation was a circus.
To make matters more interesting, my roommate’s parents were here staying a week in town. They’re from Chicago, but seem to be Vegas natives in the way they dress/talk. They stayed in the room next to mine. For some reason, one of them got up about every three minutes after midnight and kept opening and closing the doors and flushing the toilet every three minutes. They are very nice people, but I am glad they are gone.
I bitch, but the truth is I am really happy working on my projects. I am putting a ton of care into this magazine I’m designing, and want everything to be perfect. I have a lot of responsibility on my shoulders and I think it’s getting the better of my mood.
I came home tonight to an empty house and made dinner and sat down on the couch to try to find something to watch on TV. I found the movie American Beauty, which I have only seen once and it was a very long time ago. So I decided to watch it to cheer me up. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I seem to remember that movie having a happy ending. It does not. Well, I suppose the ending voice over is optimistic, but that isn’t exactly a feel-good movie. Especially that Elliott Smith song when the credits roll.
I thought I would try to go to sleep early tonight and get to work early tomorrow, but now I’m awake and not really ready for sleep. So I made a cup of tea and am writing this.
The one highlight of my weekend was Sheri & Bobby’s Halloween party. They always throw great parties, and they really went all out for Halloween. They both had awesome costumes and their house looked spectacular. I had never seen so much cool Halloween stuff. It was the usual crowd, Andrea, Chops, Justin, Debbie, and me, but this time Billie Marie came, which was great. We played beer pong and Guitar Hero and Asshole. It was one of those nights when I really felt like drinking to oblivion, but I didn’t, for some strange reason.
The mood was a little different than usual because our dear friend Chops has contracted testicle cancer and has to get one removed on Tuesday. We are all very concerned for him. And I’ve been thinking about him non-stop. He seems to be taking the whole thing in stride, and with a bit of humor. He’s a better person than me, because I would be very unpleasant to be around if that happened to me, but Chops has been just as sweet as ever.
My roommate’s cat, Nigel, who disappeared like 12 days ago, reappeared 6 am Tuesday morning, meowing at the door and filthy. I was happy he was back because my roommate was very concerned about him, but that vindictive little asshole took another shit next to my room because I shut my door to keep him out.
Currently listening to The Shepherd’s Dog by Iron and Wine
So, I’m designing this magazine. It’s due to press next week. I have so much left to do. I think about this all the time, I work on it at home, come in early to work, stay late. I’m also coming in this Saturday, and probably Sunday. I haven’t felt this crazy about a project since college.
It’s good, tho. I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out. We have some good content.
In addition to this, I’m creating and managing ads for another magazine, designing a newsletter, and making new business cards for my coworkers. All of it due, of course, on the same day.
When the next 7 days have passed, I will sigh a sigh of huge relief.
Until then, back to work.
Currently listening to Sun, Sun, Sun by The Elected
UPDATE: I forgot that I was dealing with Pounds, NOT Euros. The symbol on the order screen is plainly a Pound symbol. I messed it up, not Radiohead. Sorry for the confusion. Jeeze I feel dumb. But, hey! I’m an American.
So, one of my favorite bands, Radiohead, has a new album out, In Rainbows. You can purchase the album disc sometime in December, but the band is offering a digital copy for download as of October 10.
The band is doing something unprecedented and really cool, allowing you to choose the price of the digital download. Instead of charging you the standard $10-$15 dollars to download MP3s of their album, they are charging…whatever you feel like paying. It’s such a cool concept–friendly, fair, optimistic.
When you get to the order screen, this is what you see:
When you click the question mark next to the empty price field, you see this:
So, I was like, ‘awesome, I can get this album for $.10 or $300, whichever I choose to give to Radiohead.’
They’re a band from England, so you have to pay for it in Euros. With a quick check to the Euro converter site, I decided that with what money I have right now, I could afford about $8.50 for the album, which is about 5.9 Euros. I typed in 5.9 into the Euro field, hit ‘pay’,and the site said it would tack on a small service fee that totaled about $.50. Ok, whatever, fine. I was expecting my total for the album to be $9.00.
But, now that my check has cleared, this Radiohead album is costing me $12.11, according to my bank account. Why? Were there hidden fees? I don’t understand. I am kind of pissed, because, after all, I ended up getting charged a price that a typical digital album would cost, when I specifically only wanted to pay $9.
If you bought this album, did it happen to you?
I am loving some new songs off the album, “All I Need” and “House of Cards” are two of my favorites so far. And I want to love Radiohead and this album, but I am always going to think of this as the album where they took me for more than I was wiling to give.