Wednesday, July 09, 2014


The month of June was deliriously busy. I was teaching an [intensive] summer class, prepping for my move, and had scheduled a bunch of travel for both work and play. I had this deluded idea that I'd have evenings free to work ahead on some stuff only to find the time flying by and myself scrambling to keep up. One of my trips took me to Milan, where I presented at a conference. It was a whirlwind (just a long weekend) but so neat to visit a city I'd never been to before. The conference was great, and the weather was moderate, so I got to spend my spare time wandering the city. I didn't have any objectives or particular landmarks on my agenda, so it was lovely just to explore. It goes without saying that I ate pizza for every meal (arugula with grana padano is my very favorite). It was a super fast, exhausting trip, but I'm glad I went!

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014


As May was turning into June (which already seems like years ago) we rented a car and pointed it north to visit Marina in Vermont. Navigating the patchwork of gravel country roads is intuitive to people who live around there, but to us, driving in after midnight, it was quite an adventure when the GPS momentarily fizzled out. We made it, though, and were treated to an amazing weekend. It started with a walk through a gorgeous field: Sprout was in heaven (but ran too much and was tuckered out later). We helped plant some things in the garden and mulch some burgeoning tomatoes. In town, we visited the farmer's market and bought a little Mennonite dress for our tiny goddaughter. We drove even further north to the Bread and Puppet headquarters. There is a museum (a self-serve operation in the off-season, they just ask that you turn off the lights) where they nicely display the puppets used in previous theatrical productions. Across the way is where the Bread and Puppet theatre performs: a breathtaking field that rolls down into a small pine forest. The forest is dense and features a cluster of intriguing memorial huts: structures and objects people have made to honor their dead friends and family members. It has the somber feeling of a cemetery, but I don't think anyone is interred there. Instead, it is just an enchanting, quiet place. The photos don't quite do it justice. There was also pizza and hula hooping. It was all a great time.

Sunday, June 01, 2014


Oops, I missed writing during the month of May! This photo sums it up pretty nicely, though. In between the spring semester and summer term, I've had a few weeks back in New York and got to hang out at home, which has been so wonderful. My corner office nook (pictured here in realistic disarray) was the perfect place to get some work done and Sprout is (of course) the ideal companion for work and play. We went on tons of walks through our beautiful neighborhood each afternoon. In addition to work, I got to spend lots of quality time with friends and family here in NYC (amazing meals like great pizza at Barboncino, Milkflower and Greek food), a trip to the Alice Austen House on Staten Island (then more pizza in Coney Island), celebrated some friends' wedding in Philly, attended a fantastic Memorial Day BBQ, enjoyed an amazing charades party, spent a quick and lovely weekend in Vermont to see friends and see a phenomenal museum (and more pizza!), and took advantage of the sunny but not too hot weather. May has been awfully good.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A quick list of nice things

One of my favorite blogs (hei astrid!) features a regular weekly themed post called "Things I like lately," which is always one of my favorites to read. I thought I would borrow the format (with proper attribution, of course, though many blogs have a similar theme).
  • Springtime on its way: There's daylight until 7:30. Daffodils, snowdrops, and crocuses are all slowly wrestling out of the ground.
  • Celebrating Jordan's 30th birthday (last month): we had a great meal at Roberta's and it was just about perfect.
  • Starting to take a multivitamin. They make gummy vitamins for adults!
  • Visiting Seattle for the annual Cinema/Media Studies conference (last month): Great friends, great food. The Pacific Northwest is wonderful.
  • My sketch journal--last weekend marked 100 days!
  • The Danish political drama series Borgen. So good.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Signs of Spring

Last Saturday was one of the first true spring-like days this year. To celebrate the season, we had an epic NYC outing. It started with a walk across the Queensboro Bridge. I hadn't walked across before, and it's a great little jaunt that takes you past Roosevelt Island and along the tram line. In Manhattan we popped our heads into the Food Emporium, a grocery store nestled under the bridge. The vaulted ceilings and huge old windows are really spectacular. The next stop was a small exhibit of 19th-century toys at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. After that, it was time for lunch at Patsy's Pizza, then dessert over at Wafels and Dinges at the southern end of Central Park. It was a lot of good food. We were then on our way to the public library for another exhibit, but along the way we ran into...a parade! NYC is always having parades for this or that, and this past weekend, it was evidently Tartan Day, meaning scores of bagpipers and Scottish line dancers and even about 75 people walking their Scottie dogs. Such a great event to happen upon. After the parade, we moved along and made it to the public library, where there's an amazing exhibit on children's books (it was quite a children's visual/material culture day!) From there, it was an easy jaunt back into Queens on the 7 train. It was a terrific little adventure and a great way to start the season.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sketching through March

March has flown by, and while I haven't regularly chronicled anything of note here, I've continued to [mostly] keep up with my "sketch a day" journal. It's been a great way to document something each day without the pressure of feeling like I have to be comprehensive. Each sketch is necessarily a snippet or an excerpt--sometimes a highlight, sometimes just a part of the every day routine. Here are a few from this past month: working in the NY Public Library, having pizza with pals, John and Colette playing hide and seek, breaking my back molar on a rock-hard pizza crust (a separate pizza occasion), my collaborative class project with a geology class, and the arrival of our friends' new baby! 

Friday, February 28, 2014

February Highlights (Part 2): Last Weekend

Because I promised myself to get another post before February turned to march. Last weekend it was freakishly warm: temperatures were projected up into the fifties and then slated to drop back down to the twenties (or even teens). We took advantage of the warm, sunny Saturday afternoon to walk around Central Park. It was pretty muddy and really crowded, but so nice to traverse old paths. We made it out of the park on the west side and went to Birdbath for a pretzel croissant and their incredible hot chocolate. On Sunday, we went to the ballet to see Coppelia. I didn't follow much of the storyline (and suspect that there wasn't too much story to follow in the first place), but the dancing was lovely. My favorite part, however, were our incredible seats! We'd waited too long to get tickets, I guess, and the only cheap-o seats left were on the very top balcony on the far, far stage right side. Basically, by turning around, we could see much more of the audience than we could of the stage. There was also a great view down into the orchestra pit. These seats are probably the least sought after, but I was delighted.