Thursday, January 29, 2009

Too Creepy Neil!

A promotional trailer Neil made for Coraline (this one should work better)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


boo hiss to all the cousins except for Doug (who showed) and Dan & Ash - at least they called.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jersey Pride & Shiny Medals

The Wall Street Journal's Lee Siegel lauds the Garden State.

UPDATE: and apparently Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book has won the Newbery Medal and Neil is apparently trying not to swear


I'm finally feeling relaxed after several weeks of insanity.  The cabin was a wonderful getaway, but for my serenity, I need my place to be clean, and full of food, and nothing large on my to do list. 

This past week and a half, I've been helping Carrie paint the set she designed for McCarter's In Festival.  The show is Eclipsed, and is set in war-torn Liberia. 

The floor is a draped, torn Liberian flag. This is it when we first laid out the stripes. There are two platforms on the deck, so don't get confused. 

Here is the deck after it's been distressed and dirtied. It feels like the old Civil War flags that made it through battles.

Sitting on top of the parallelogram platform is a structure that represents a room with all of the walls blown out. We spent several days carving the concrete - and I was the carving queen! This is me in my Tyvek suit at the end of carving. 

Here is the structure and a detail of the concrete. Carrie is the one standing and looking up. Kate is the one bending over. 

One more peak into the work that I do. Do you wish you were me or are you glad you are not?
I love what I do, but it can be so physically intense. My back ached for days from all the carving, but I get a pretty picture at the end!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Come to the Cabin, with me and Moose-y

We had a wonderful weekend at Uncle Bri and Aunt Sherrie's Cabin. It was so serene with the snow, which fell softly and practically continuously the entire second and third day. Aunt Sherrie, Mom, Lui and I were going sledding in the back yard and the snow was up to our knees, which is not good for sledding. Grant, being the wonderful person that he is, shoveled us a long luge course and even took a few runs himself. 

I was really exhausted and sore from work the past week, so I sadly skipped out on skiing. But I did take and 90 minute walk around the property and snapped some wonderful pictures. 

I fell in love with this sawhorse. I probably took 15 pictures of it. 

More photos are here if you want to see more!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Love is a bmx bike

this won best film at a film festival in australia last year - and it's awesome.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ding dong

sorry i haven't been posting much - busy busy.  For the next few days I'm working 12 hour days with a 2 hour commute in there. Ugh.

I have been playing with my vinyl cutter. Very awesome. So I've been learning how to use Adobe Illustrator, because that program automatically vectorizes your image, so I can just send it to the cutter. Here is a  sketch I did entirely in Illustrator.

pretty, huh? I'm thinking of changing it slightly, and putting them all in the bathroom - maybe even in the actual shower - vinyl is waterproof.

and this one is currently on my bathroom door. 

all the different words for bathroom! 

I'll post actual picture of them in place, but I have to run to my first job today.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

a year in review, bookwise

Well, my dears. My book score has fallen. 

2007 total: 100 books
2008 total: 66 books

In my defense, there were many more children's books and comic/graphic novels read in 2007. Also it was not until this year that I started following the news somewhat, and started the daily reading of blogs. This year we also moved, Grant got a new job, and I was scenic charge of a huge opera and (hopefully soon) Broadway show. 

PS: see The Complete Sherlock Holmes Vol 1 - which includes 3 books, and 23 short stories. Maybe I should up my score by 26!

Notable books from 2008:
Into Thin Air (Jon Krakauer) January - The account of a personal trip up Mount Everest during a particularly treacherous season. Wonderful, no-nonsense writing. It inspired an entire month of research into all things Everest. (thanks to Dan for the recommendation). 

A Year in the World (Frances Mayes)March - Probably my favorite travel writer. Using her Tuscan house (which we befriended in Under the Tuscan Sun [another one of my favorites]) as a home-base and her wonderful writing speckled with the local languages, this book documents her impressions of a wide variety of a few select parts of Europe and the Mediterranean. I've added several locations onto my places to go list.  

The Complete Sherlock Holmes Vol 1 (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)May - I spent an entire month on these. There is a second volume, but I decided I needed to take a breather. How one man could think up so many different scenarios is beyond me.

The Twilight series (Stephanie Meyer) July, December - Not earth-shattering, but highly enjoyable. And superfun to discuss with everyone. Brings back fond remembrances of first love and the distress and joy that it can bring. 

The Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell) August - Gladwell does it again. Extremely thought provoking essays on statistics and interpreting the effects they illuminate in our lives.

Blindness (Jose Saramago)October - Could I call this a must read? Maybe a should read. Speculations on the possibilities of human dignity and depravity is a weighty subject, and should not be undertake lightly. I honestly didn't know if the ending would be uplifting or would merely foreshadow the end of humankind. The lack of all but obligatory punctuation was  bit of a challenge at first; but it was purposeful, and I soon adapted to it. It is an amazing read, and fully deserving of it's Nobel Prize for Literature. 

Disappointments from 2008:
The Amber Spyglass (Philip Pullman)January - The last book in the Golden Compass trilogy. Largely anticlimactic, the book seems to have fallen apart at then end. Pity - I thoroughly enjoyed the first two. Remember how the Matrix movies fell apart at the end? yeah...

Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follet)March - I read 250 pages into it and couldn't take it any more. The Middle Ages were bad, Mr. Follet, we get it. But you, however, seem to think it was an ideal age for the males of our species.  Maybe Tyler Durden would agree. ugh.

Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)July - Could there be two less likable characters in all of literature? Catherine and Heathcliff treat each other and everyone around them terribly, and they weren't even really in love. I suffered through the whole thing and it didn't even have a good ending. 

The Sun Also Rises (Ernest Hemingway) November - Not a huge disappointment, but a minor one. The entire book was dialogue - mostly pointless. Remember that one chapter of The Great Gatsby that seems to have no purpose and just drags (the group is hanging around talking drunkenly in someone's apartment) - that's this entire book.  I get the themes of ex-patriotism, gender issues and self-reliance, however, I think I could have gotten most of them from an essay about the book. I understand the dialogue was poignant and enlightening to its contemporaries, but I felt like I was constantly sifting through it trying to find meaning. 

Currently reading:
Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens)
Dreams from My Father (Barack Obama)
Seeing (Jose Saramago)

On my list for 2009:
The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
The Audacity of Hope (Barack Obama)
Saving Darwin (Karl Giberson)
Hide and Seek with Angels (Lisa Chaney)
The Memory of Earth (Orson Scott Card)
Sentimental Tommy (J.M. Barrie)
Probably a re-read of the Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling)
The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco)
100 Years of Solitude (Gabriel Carcia Marquez)

and that's the short list