May 31, 2008

Four New Monsters

Montegue - Montegue is an old fashioned monster looking for a girlfiend (yes, fiend) with whom he can share a sundae at an ice cream social. Don't let his stilted way of talking fool you. He is quite well rounded and up to date on movies through the 1970's.
Montegue Closeup and Personal

Bloop - Bloop is a distant relative of Mlergh. He has a striped body and a white shirt. He likes baseball and he's very loud.
Bloop

Mlee - Mlee is part of the League of Lifeguarding Monsters. His specialty is kiddy pools and not the shallow end of the large neighborhood pool - the inflatable kind one might find in a suburban front yard.
Mlee

Duke - My husband thought that Duke resembled the mascot for Duke University, hence his name. He is quite devilish. Don't let his diminutive appearance fool you.
Duke

Posting With The Boys

This is my headline.

No Country for Straight Men

Suspicious Packages


Suspicious Package Industry Falls On Hard Times

May 29, 2008

Sold

All these monsters have found new homes.

Trip To The Met

I'm overdue for a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Maybe next week I'll sneak in a visit. I really want to see the painting of Venus and Cupid where Cupid is peeing through a wreath in some ancient symbolism for fertility. It's a beautiful painting and the last time Jon and I went to the museum the section that features Venus and Cupid was closed.


May 28, 2008

Warranty!!

Good news. Our camera is still under warranty. The bad news is we have to send the camera all the way to Laredo, TX for service. Hopefully we'll have the camera back in two weeks.

Coming Home From Curtains

Last night on the subway I watched the face of the woman sitting across from me. She was watching six young women on their way home from some kind of Fun Run or athletic work function. As she watched them, I could see she was getting emotional. Her face started to get blotchy as if she were about to cry and she was holding back tears.

One of the six women was particularly obnoxious and she seemed to be the leader of the group. She reminded me of those horrible girls in high school who always led their friends in group taunts of less popular students. And I have a feeling the woman sitting across from me was thinking similar thoughts.

I wanted to move across the empty space between our seats and sit next to her and comfort her, but that would have been weird, right?

Lou and Chester

Chester came out good. He's one of the six I made last week. I named him Chester because it rhymes with jester which is what he looks like - in a Val sort of way.
Chester

And the other one I really like from last week's mix is Lou. I take back what I said about not liking what I've been making lately because I changed my mind as is my wont.
Lou

May 27, 2008

Monster Burnout

I'm having trouble creating lately. I've been working but I'm not satisfied with how the monsters look. Here's an example.



I guess he's cute enough to give away to someone but not cute enough to sell. Actually, I think I'll give this one away tonight to my friend Julie who works as an usher where I'm working tonight.

Here's an example of one that I like but I'm not happy with the finishing. My technique is off. You can see lose threads behind his eyes. I may or may not put him up for sale. But he's cute though, right? I used mostly smooth socks to make him but fuzzy socks for his lips.



Here's a bigger version of one I made a month or so ago. I'm very satisfied with this one in terms of looking finished but didn't realize until after he was done that he was modeled after one I'd already made.

May 25, 2008

Camera Acting Funny

My really cool camera is acting funny. The lens goes in and out three times and then the camera gives me a message to turn the camera off and on again. I contacted Sony and they suggested I send the camera in to their repair center.

The repair could cost up to $111.00. I don't think the camera cost much more than that.

Anyway.

Does anyone else have a Cybershot DSCW80 with this weird problem? How did you solve it?

May 24, 2008

A New Day

It's bright and sunny out. And in about an hour or so, I'm heading into the city to spend the day indoors - working at The Country Girl. I didn't watch the show last night. Instead, I worked on a monster named Chester. You'll meet him next week.

I bought some new materials yesterday. I'm tired of pink fluffy socks so I'm moving on to cotton and polycotton blends. Chester came out pretty good but I'm interested to see where else my imagination will lead me.

The people upstairs are sawing wood - literally. It's noisy.

May 23, 2008

Michael Clayton

We finished watchng Michael Clayton last night. I thought it was a really good movie.

There is a death scene that is the most startling I've ever scene - very upsetting. All the performances were rock solid and the story was pretty easy to follow.

Good movie.

May 22, 2008

Monsters and Ovens

My oven is finally hooked up. Wahoo!!! I cooked rice and beans yesterday. Yum-o! Today, I'm making soup. The weather has certainly been cold and wet enough for that. And yes I have resumed monster making. I've already made three this week and will probably list them on my Etsy site once I have six ready to go.

Indiana Jones and The Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Last night, Jon and I had a bit of a scare. We were watching Michael Clayton and around midnight the Carbon Monoxide alarm started going off. We assumed that the battery was dying. So, we removed the alarm from the wall and proceeded to remove the battery. But when we read the instructions, turns out that our alarm was not alerting us to a dead battery but to a possible carbon monoxide problem. We opened the windows and called 311. 311 connected us to 911 who connected us to the fire department who showed up 5 minutes later to tell us that there was no carbon monoxide in our apartment and that our battery was dying. Our fireman commended us for opening our windows (apparently other people sit in their sealed apartments while waiting for the fire department) and advised us to get a new battery for our alarm. Crisis passed, we watched a little bit more of the movie and called it quits around 1 am. We still have a little bit more to watch.

We woke up bright and early so we could go see the 10 am showing of the new Indiana Jones movie at the Ziegfeld. I'm not giving anything away. No spoilers here. The movie was a lot of fun. Indiana Jones and his sidekicks went on a grand adventure. Spielberg did a nice job tying a neat little bow on his "Quadrology"? What else could you call it?

Go see it. It's a lot more satisfying than The Country Girl. That's for sure.

May 21, 2008

Starvation Diet

What's eerie about this fake Onion news video is that people really do this.


Diet Book Author Advocates New 'No Food Diet'

Waiting and Biking and Working

An oven was delivered on Monday but it still hasn't been installed. We were expecting someone yesterday, but that someone was called away on a rain emergency in another building - stupid rain. So, now my installation is scheduled for tomorrow. Knock on wood. From my lips to G-d's ears.

Knowing when someone is coming to do work instead of waiting for someone that is not coming is very freeing. I felt free for the first time in weeks to go bike riding. It's been a while since I've gone out. The bike ride reminded that it doesn't take much time to get out of shape. I only went 7.5 miles. Jon is still out there. He is in much better shape than me.

I'm working The Country Girl this week. What a treat. The show stars Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher in a show by Clifford Odets. With all that star power, you'd think the show would be a home run. It's not bad. But it's not great. There's something now quite there but I'm not sure what. I can't yet tell if it's the performances or the play. I'll let you know when I figure it out. Or I may completely contradict myself and find after a week of viewing that this is the best play ever.

The thing is I'm comparing this to Awake and Sing! also by Odets which ran two years ago at the Belasco Theater. Awake and Sing! is a better play. I just need some time with this one to figure out how I feel.

May 20, 2008

No Country For Old Men

Jon and I watched No Country for Old Men on loan to us from a friend. We started watching it on Sunday night and finished it yesterday morning. I personally couldn't make it through one sitting.

I really wanted to like this movie. But I didn't. I liked the actors. They did a great job. They may have even elevated the script to a high enough level that I could watch it just for their performances. But the movie - eh. Too much creeping. Too many slow pan shots. Too many pauses. Too much anticlimatic suspense.

Now if you liked this movie, you're going to want to argue with me about the movie's merits. I recognize there were things in this movie that could be considered flashes of brilliance. But I would argue that those flashes of brilliance were contrived. I felt the effort the Cohen brothers put into making this an Oscar winner. They pushed too hard for my taste.

If you didn't like the movie then you know what I mean and you most likely agree.

Let's discuss.

May 19, 2008

Clean Windows

It's a small thing but we cleaned our windows today. Small things like that are good for cheering up a place. The next time you're feeling like doing something to make your place look better, try something simple like cleaning your windows.

Happy 30th Birthday

You know who you are!!

Progress Apartment

It's hard to fathom it but we're done putting everything away, not to say that it's organized, but the boxes are empty. Three weeks ago, we decided to find a new apartment and now we're in it. It happened so quickly it's hard to believe.

Today or tomorrow, I'm getting a new, new stove because the new one we have isn't good enough. Once I start cooking in here, then Jon and I will truly be home.

May 17, 2008

Progress Apartment Citizen Kane

We've made some real progress. 85% of our books are up on the shelves. 100% of our clothing is in put away. And the living room is pretty much set give or take some odds and ends that still need homes.

I haven't really tackled the kitchen yet. Although I managed to get a lot of things up on shelves and in closets, those things still have to be organized. But I'm not feeling too motivated to organize the kitchen because I don't really have my stove yet.

On Thursday night, while Jon was at work, I finally watched Citizen Kane all the way through. This was at least the 15th time I tried to watched it. All other 14 times, I just couldn't get through it. Maybe I wasn't ready. I still don't understand why it's considered the best movie ever made on mostly everybody's best movie list, but I get why it's a good movie. It's still overrated though, in my opinion.

I have a friend who stayed up all night once watching the movie over and over. He came out the other end of that experience understanding why the movie is considered the best by many. I'm not there yet.

May 16, 2008

All Moved In

We're in. We are completely in the new place.

I finatically cleaned the old place to make sure we DEFINITELY get our security deposit back. And that place is EMPTY, like we never lived there. After dragging our enormous old couch out to the curb, we took a moment last night and acknowleged that we were leaving our first apartment together.

For the most part the move was okay. Our very good friend (whose name I won't mention so he doesn't get hit up for requests) helped us move the heaviest objects. He was an absolute god send and hopefully sustained no injuries during the course of the move. Thank you so much for all of your help. We are eternally greatful and readilty available to help you move should the need ever arise.

The most stressful part was receiving our new couch. This was a saga. Our couch was too big for the elevator which I recognized in advance would be the case. I assumed the movers would just use the stairs to bring up the couch. And that's what they set out to do. But there was a problem. The stairwell closest to our apartment had an entrance that was too narrow to maneuver the couch, so the movers had to use the stairwell at the front of the building where the couch could fit.

However, because the front and back halves of our building are not connected, the movers had to carry the couch up 7 flights to the roof, across the roof and then bring it down the stairwell near our apartment.

It took them two hours because the couch was wider than some of the landings and they had to do a lot of work, twisting and turning our new furniture until they were finally able to get the couch in. At one point I checked in on their progress and found them walking across the roof carrying the enormous burden between them with their heads cocked to one side and their tongues hanging out of their mouths from exhaustion.

We tipped them well - actually very well - and you would have also. Believe me.

I still feel a little guilty about ruining the days of the people who were expecting timely furniture deliveries after us but the store we used does guarantee delivery. And that's what we got.

While all that was going on with the couch, and while Jon and our fantastic friend were moving everything, a handy man was opening up my kitchen wall to add an electrical outlet for the new stove he was installing. To make long story short, he finished the electrical work but didn't install the oven. It's damaged. So I won't have an oven until next week.

Other than that, everything is fine. We have phone, cable and internet and all is right with the world again.

May 15, 2008

Moving Day

Today is moving day - again. I say that because we've been moving every day this week. The difference today is that once we're done, we'll be done for good.

Even though 80 per cent of our belongings our in the new place; even though I have been actively participating in getting the stuff over there; even though I already set up my kitchen, I still have a hard time believing that we're moving.

I have lived in this apartment building for 12 years. The studio where I used to live was the first place I could call my own. My parents had to co-sign the lease. In that time, I have encouraged several friends to come and live in this building, making this building feel more like a home for Jon and me. Granted we're only going across the street and our friends can visit us anytime they like but still. It's almost like we're breaking some kind of secret allegiance by no longer living in the "sitcom" building.

And now today is our final push. Our last day of truly hard work before we turn in our keys to the management company.

I'm not going to have internet until tomorrow but as soon as I do, I'll let you know how it went. After I check my email and play Scrabulous of course.

May 13, 2008

New Stuff

We bought some new furniture. It's the first time I've ever bought furniture from a store with the exception of a futon. It felt oddly grownup. Most if not all of the furniture I've ever owned has been given to be someone else. We did ultimately go to Raymour & Flanigan.
Sofa





chairThey have a great selection and guarantee delivery in three days. We chose a matching couch and chair, a book case and a very basic bed frame. Everything should go smoothly on Thursday. The only concern I have is whether or not the couch will fit in the elevator. If it doesn't the store's moving guys will have to carry the couch up the stairs, which costs $20 a flight, after the third floor.

May 10, 2008

A Good Day

I got a lot done today, mostly cleaning. Jon and I moved a bunch of kitchen over to the new place and some coats. We also started moving the book collection. Technically, moving isn't allowed on weekends, so we're trying to be really incognito by using a shopping cart.

Tomorrow, I'd like to go shopping. Turns out I need to buy curtains for the many windows we now have. Isn't that a trip? There are three windows in the bedroom. I also need to get a new bathroom set. Our toilet seat cover is so stretched out it's always falling off the toilet seat and the rug has seen better days. Oh. And we're getting rid of our old clunky couch. So, we'll probably go to Raymour and Flannigan to get a new one.

I was excited to discover that the room we want to use as an office/guestroom is already cable ready. But I'm not sure how that works.

The way we have it set up now, both the internet and cable come through the same little device that splits the service between our television and our computer. I guess I'll learn when the cable guy hooks us up on Friday.

Do you guys know if we need to set up separate internet service for that room?

The New Apartment

Without further ado, here is the walking tour of our new apartment which is really and truly ours now. Forgive my goofy narration and my shaky camera work.

video

May 07, 2008

Still No Lease

We haven't heard back from our broker yet regarding our lease. Granted the repairs on our new apartment weren't completed but still, I'm anxious to get in there and set things up. I've got half our kitchen packed up. Jon started packing up books. he monsters are packed up and so are the materials I use to make them. So, I won't be making any monsters this week.

I might move the closets first. We certainly don't need our coats. Then I want to move my cleaning stuff which I packed into one neat little box earlier.

The only part of the move that gives any cause for concern is tranferring our utilities particularly cable and internet. But even that should be easy enough to arrange.

We'll probably keep the same phone number.

Ramble.

May 06, 2008

Packing

We're one day away from getting the lease to our new place. I started packing.

We went to the Container Store earlier for boxes and storage cases for our china. The Container Store rocks!!! Totally.

Anyway, I packed up our china and hopefully tomorrow I'll start wheeling our kitchen over to the new place in our shopping cart. Piece by piece.

May 05, 2008

My Wedding Dress

Jon and I visited my parents yesterday because we didn't want to miss them for Mother's Day. Originally, we'd planned to go upstate to visit my in-laws for Mother's day weekend which meant that we wouldn't be able to see my folks. We didn't know that we'd have to move in to our new place so quickly. So we had to cancel those plans. We'll basically be moving for the next 10 days or so.

Anyway, I thought it would be cool to try on my wedding dress. So I did. And it was cool, because I lost weight and now my wedding dress which fit snuggly on the day of my wedding is now way too big. I was swimming in it.

That was fun.

Movin' On Up

We've had some good luck and found a great 2 bedroom apartment across the street from where we currently live. The apartment is amazing. It's clean. It's bright. It's on the fourth floor and in the back of the building, far away from the noisy street which plagues us with its car alarms and chatty smokers who like to chat and smoke under our window. The apartment is in a building with an elevator and a laundry room. There's a window in the bathroom which is really important to me. There are two air conditioners already installed in the bedrooms, that come with the apartment.

The best part is that it's across the street which means we don't have to rent a van or hire movers.

We got really lucky with this one.

May 03, 2008

Already May?

I can't believe it's May already. How does time creep by while simultaneously passing quickly? I marvel at my paperwork on the job everytime I have to write down the date, April 29, April 30? How do these days sneak up on me at such a snail like pace?

It's Saturday and I'm working at Spring Awakening. Again. Most of the week, I've been able to find a seat and enjoy the show. Today, there were seats available in the mezzanine but I decided to pace myself for the day. Instead, I read a book called The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson. I've read enough Patterson to know that books from his Alex Cross series are the best. The detective is interesting and somehow his formula always works for me. There was one other detective of his, I think the detective from Black Market - retitled Black Friday - that I really liked but he never followed up with him. I think he was wheel chair bound and that was definitely an interesting point view.

The Big Bad Wolf is the first book I've looked at since my vacational reading of Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs. Funny story about this book, it wasn't until Jon read it that i noticed the had on the cover has six fingers. That was quite a while ago.

I have a friend who is reading as many books as possible this year. I wish I were more like her. But what ends up happening with me is that if I read too many books, they all become blurred together and I lose the book in a fog of storylines and character arcs. I like to live with a book after I read it. So I don't forget it. My brain's storage capacity is not as infinite as I would like sometimes.

The next book I'm going to read is one I read about at Books Galore - THE ALMOST MOON by Alice Sebold. It's been a while since I've read The Lovely Bones, also by Sebold, but I remember that book as being really, really great.

Goodbye Catty Monsters

I made another ETSY sale. Tomorrow, I'm hand delivering this pair to their new owner.

Yay me!!

Catty Monsters

May 01, 2008

Law & Order: SVU - Robin Williams

I regularly watch Law & Order: SVU. This season, they seem to be doing a lot of stunt casting. The most recent episode featured Robin Williams in a dark but funny role, which is something he does well. This is one of the weaker episodes I've seen - and not because the performances of the actors. The writing was lacking on this one.

Robin Williams's character toward the end of the episode somehow managed to kidnap Olivia, one of the detectives. Although her entire squad knew of her kidnapping, only her partner Eliot showed up at the scene of the crime - alone. Not likely. It's more likely that all of her co-workers, including her captain would have shown up to rescue her.

There were other problems with the episode - again none of them performance related. But the above was the weakest part.