Archive for October, 2007

Four totally unrelated items.

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

1. I was driving this weekend to Expo, the Home Depot design center (fancy tiles, rugs, curtains, etc.) and I drove past Walter’s in Larchmont, NY. It is a Chinese-style building from 1919 that sells… hot dogs. And all the wealthy locals drive up in their Lexii and line up for the hot dogs. Cricket and I just had to try it out. Because I avoid meat (I’m not a die-hard vegetarian, but I make an effort) Cricket got a hot dog and I got potato puffs (fried mashed potatoes, like little croquettes). And we got sweet spuds to share (tempura-battered sweet potato sticks). I can only comment on the tuber-foods, but the potato puffs were excellent and the sweet spuds were delicious, melt-in-your-mouth good. I don’t know if I would drive all the way to Larchmont just to relive the experience, but if I passed by there and I was hungry, I might partake in the deliciousness once again. Now, photos.

walters3.jpg walters1.jpg walters2.jpg

2. Not like anyone doesn’t know this, but there are crazy people in New York. Lots of them. And many of them have so very much to share. They desperately want to tell you about how the aliens planted a probe and now they know the truth about 9/11 and Iran because they can hear the government’s thoughts. One lady handed me a piece of paper with tiny tiny writing on it about… something, her mother being raped in the seventies and pictures of her mother’s driver’s license, I couldn’t figure it out. There’s another guy who hangs out in Midtown with big placards, maybe seven of them, just COVERED in text about how he invented the cooling thing in the refrigerator and how the patent was stolen from him and how he is owed 25 billion dollars. Well, in my neighborhood, I have my local crazy. He posts collages of stuff with his comments written on them. I don’t know if this makes me a bad person, but all I can think of when I see them is, “He may be kookoobee, but he’s got lovely penmanship.”


3. There’s this poster you see around town for a food thing. It’s a woman, all seductive-like, posing with a crawfish on her shoulder. Here’s the problem: the crawfish has little eyeflaps, like little eyelids, that curve down in the center and make him look really really angry. So the picture is of woman cooing to this furious crawfish.
“I think you’re handsome.”
“Your claws are sooo sexy.”
I think perhaps they should have picked a different food item to rest on her shoulder. Prawns look pretty benign, although a little surprised (“HUH?!??”). Here is a picture of the ad.


And here is a close-up of Livid Crawfish.


It probably doesn’t help that he looks like a demonic alien to begin with.

4. Update on the hideous rat ornament: It now has a bandanna and dreadlocks. I don’t think it’s helping.


Now it’s just a rastafarian nightmare. I can’t wait for Halloween to be over.

P.S. Tonight I’m seeing The Police in concert at Madison Square Garden. Oh, this is so exciting!

More tile ads and a truly hideous Halloween ornament.

Friday, October 26th, 2007

1. I did some nice-looking ads for NewCastleNOW. I’m particularly proud of my JV Volleyball one. It looks like an ad you’d see on Yahoo or Amazon. I’m a professional graphic designer, like the big boys! I can go on the big slide!



I’m also pleased with my banner ad for the sneaker drive. The only concern I have with it is all the text on it. People, if you’re reading this site and I build ads for you, please remember that these tile ads are small. Really small. Super-wee-small. If I put a whole paragraph of 6 point text on there it will cause your viewers to squint and say to their spouses, “Spouse, can you read this to me?” And the spouse will say, “Get up and get your glasses, what do I look like, your servant?” and then your viewer will get up, not noticing the internet cord on the floor and they will trip over it and hit their head on the bookshelf and get a nasty bump on their head and hate your website forever. Just something to think about.

2. I walk to work every day. I was walking past Ricky’s on 57th and was startled by this atrocious Halloween decoration.


I assume it’s supposed to be a rat. I’ve seen rats often in my travels around Manhattan, and while I can understand why some people don’t like them, they’re not revolting. They’re kind of big-butted and they snuffle around trash heaps looking for nibbles and keeping to themselves. This thing, first of all, is really big. It’s three feet tall. And it looks like a sloth mated with a tazmanian devil and their offspring fell into a vat of nuclear waste mixed with thalidomide. If I was seven and tromping around my neighborhood gathering sweeties and I sauntered up onto a porch with this displayed on it, I would run screaming from the house and develop an unhealthy and irrational fear of large-assed rodents (That includes beavers and porcupines). Trauma for years to come. So while a fan of most Halloween beasties (and real rats), this particular specimen is wretched.

I drewed a cumpass. Is good and rownd.

Friday, October 19th, 2007

I just created a compass in Illustrator and Photoshop for a client, and gosh-darnit if I’m not pleased with myself. After I’m done using it for this project, I’ll have to find some other use for it in some other project. Be prepared to see it crop up somewhere.


I love Halloweentime. Cannot get enough of owls. (And partridges. And butterflies.)

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Even the fancy-shmancy stores have halloweeny beasties in their displays. For example, I walked past Maison du Chocolat in Rockefeller Center the other evening and they had a chocolate pumpkin with a little chocolate moonscape complete with a cutie owl! I was so pleased. I didn’t get one because I didn’t feel like selling a kidney off for some chocolate, but I took a picture.


I’ve been cranking jewelry like it’s going out of fashion for the online store. I’ve made a selection of jewelry with partridges. They’ve got little eggs in them, it’s quite sweet. And butterflies. Here’s a teaser picture to give you an idea.


The birds have little Swarovski crystals for eyes. The butterflies are going to get some too. There will be better pictures when I put them up in the store. I’m very excited about them. More cool patterns to come, so keep an eye out!

You ‘member the Bloomsburg Fair? ‘Member that?

Monday, October 15th, 2007

A few posts a-previous, there was an entry on the Bloomsburg Fair. I briefly mentioned the deep-fried festival of food there. Here’s another picture I took at the fair.


I told quite a few people about the plethora of fried goodness, often involving a stick, as in “______ on a stick”. My favorite one on that list being sold at the fair? Pumpkin cheesecake on a stick. Snorth once told me of a fair that had deep-fried spaghetti and meatballs on a stick, and Lord knows I looked for it at this fair (how do they get the spaghetti not to fall off the stick? Does the stick have little prongs emerging at intervals? I have questions.) I didn’t find anyone selling it. I truly thought I had explored all the variations of stick-food. I was wrong.

Koreans are all about pushing the envelope there, corn-dog-wise. I’m impressed.

On a vegetarian-turning note, my friend went to Thailand and they had chick on a stick. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Baby chicks, fluffy bits and all, rammed onto a stick and deep-fried. I have a rule about my food: I actively dislike when I can identify it. Like when I receive prawns with antennae and legs and whatnot at a restaurant, I have to turn them around so they are not facing me and cover their eyes with a lettuce leaf so they’re not looking at me. A deceased chick with its beak and feet sticking out at odd angles would fall smack-dab into that category. *Shiver*.

Avocado Painting, Part 1.

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

I’m makin’ a paintin’! I was sitting in Cricket’s parent’s garden and they had planted an avocado pit, just to see if it would grow, and it did. It had nice glossy leaves, like this:


It inspired me to make a painting based on the avocado plant, which I started on Monday. I’ve painted two insects, moth/butterflies, that will be part of the painting. AND here they are:


Sooo pretty. And I got to be super-anal and paint all those leeetle teeny tiny dots, which was most satisfying.

On a completely different note, I walked into Duane Reade (for those of you not from around here, a NYC pharmacy) and they had fifty Christmas stockings behind the counter and red and green gift boxes everywhere. It’s October! Mid-October! We haven’t even had Halloween yet! I expect this from Hallmark, but from you, Duane Reade? For shame, Duane Reade, for shame.

I’m in advertising! Yessiree!

Friday, October 5th, 2007

I’ve been working with Cricket on this website,, which is a small-town newspaper that covers an area in Westchester, NY. It went live today (hooray!) and it looks terrific, mostly due to Cricket and his stellar coding skillz. However, the ads are all me, baby! I’ve built them all in the last two days and I’m awful proud. These are some of my favorites:


I love that I spend all day in an advertising agency, and then I go home and work on… advertising. And if you are perchance interested in the goings-on of New Castle, feel free to check out their site…

The Bloomsburg Fair.

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

I had been complaining to my co-worker A. that there were no state fairs around here where I could see livestock. He mentioned that near his hometown in Pennsylvania is the Bloomsburg Fair, and it has livestock and rides and food and a variety of other country-like activities that one does not get to experience in New York City. So on Saturday I went with Cricket and Neenernator and B. to the Bloomsburg Fair. Which is three hours away. I hope you appreciate my devotion to seeing a fair. From the moment we arrived, it was exactly what I had hoped for. You had to park pretty far away since the ENTIRE POPULATION OF PENNSYLVANIA showed up, so they had bench-things on wheels attached to tractors which would go from the parking lot to the front gate. Tractors! I was thrilled. As I entered, I had to take a picture of what greeted me.

Yes, come to the fair and get grilled bologna and onion sandwiches! Just reading the sign made me taste bologna and onion for days. Also, note the giant apple vendor selling deep-fried apple slices. The phrase “deep fried” became a critical part of the day.


This was a booth where they would tell you what your name meant and try to get some God in your life. They had this super-convoluted map on the side of their booth. The lady in the picture and I stood there and tried to figure out what the goodness gracious was going on, but we couldn’t gather heads nor tails of it. We’re somewhere between the cross and the damning hellfire all the way on the right. And then it was on to a truly righteous and godly activity, the demolition derby!
For those of you who do not understand the finer nuances of demolition derby, please allow me to clarify. You line a group of suicidal cars and their enabler drivers up, back to back.


Then there’s a countdown, and the cars slam into reverse and whump into the cars behind them. The cars continue whumping and smashing and having critical components break off and occasionally catching on fire until only two cars are able to drive and whump. They are the winners. Here are some of the finer photos.

demoderby1.jpg demoderby2.jpg demoderby3.jpg

Then it was on to the livestock. They had award-winning rabbits! And chickens! I was ecstatic.


This chicken* just stood there in the sunlight posing for me. I can truly say I have met the most photogenic chicken on earth.


This chicken fell asleep with its big chickeny butt in the air. It’s tough, the life of poultry.


This chicken was all up in my grill like a crazy paranoid chicken on Law and Order SVU. “I don’t have to let you in my apartment! I know my rights!” It also helps that this was a super-tiny psycho chicken. I was very intimidated once I stopped laughing at it.


This is a photo of the softest rabbit ever, possibly. I wanted to scoop him up and book it out of there, but having a couple thousand angry Pennsylvanians running after me waving tractor parts as I made off with their rabbit was not appealing, so this story does not end with me as the proud owner of this rabbit. However, it also doesn’t end with me in the hospital with tractor parts wedged into my orifices, so that’s good too.


There were some seriously attractive cows there. These are two of them. Bored and beautiful cows – it’s just like being back in New York! Har! Har har!

Now this picture I tastefully cropped. The cow on the right had what looked like sausage casings hanging out of her, and before I could give it a great deal of thought, Neenernator pointed out the little baby calf curled up next to her! Awww, baby cow. It’s less than twelve hours old.


Closeup of baby cow.


There were all kinds of neato fair things there, but the ice cream machine run by an 1903 John Deere engine was pretty awesome.

icecream1.jpg icecream2.jpg

I took pictures of the award-winning pumpkin and the canned goods and a variety of other things, but I will spare you those pictures. There’s only so many first-prize squashes you can look at before you just HATE SQUASHES. That night we went to the tractor ‘n’ truck pull, which, I must say with all honesty, is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen. I’m not even going to explain it in detail. There’s a tractor (or truck) and then there’s a big weight, and whoever pulls the weight the farthest wins. And the winner gets to club the woman of his choice and drag her back to his cave for a good ole-fashioned Neaderthal matin’ experience, most of which she will be unconscious for. I mean, really, people – I let my butt go numb on the bleachers for this? But on the whole it was a great experience and I highly recommend it for people who live in the city all day every day. It’s definitely a break from the norm.

*Yes, I’m well-aware that that’s not a chicken, it’s a cock. I have issues with saying that. Like every time I watch a dog show with my mother and they say, “That’s a stellar bitch out there, Bob” and I get all uncomfortable because, you know, I’m watching WITH MY MOM.

Starbucks, mezuzah and the cactus. Also, Peppy.

Monday, October 1st, 2007

1. I was at Starbucks the other day picking up a grande soy no whip hot chocolate (stop that, I don’t judge you) and you know how they hand-draw those signs on the wall? “Try a pecan walnut mocha bar with your pumpkin latte today!” Those signs. The one in the Starbucks I was at was this cool Edward Gorey ribbon with text on it. I was very impressed. I took a picture.


Go Starbucks on 52nd Street with your gothic Victorian-ness. You rock.

2. I finished the mezuzah this weekend. I also went to the Bloomsburg Fair, this mammoth fair in Pennsylvania, on Saturday and I will upload pictures soon. Back to the mezuzah. It looks awesome. I’m so very proud of myself. Check it out.


So apparently I have designed the first and only Halloween mezuzah. Spoooky mezuzah. The copper leafing turned out well and the colors are still strong. I’m a happy camper. Now on to the next project.

3. Do you remember the giant freak cactus I mentioned previously? The one where they grafted one freaky cactus to another freaky cactus and created the Megatron super-cactus? Here’s a pic to refresh your memory.


Well, I went to Home Depot this weekend to buy some Dremel parts and they had a mini version of my cactus! OMGLOLBBQ! The major setback in purchasing the giant cactus was that it was $150, and I don’t care how awesome a plant is, I’m not paying over a hundred bucks for it. So I got my wee 6-inch cactus, and I will love it and pet it until it gets big and that will be fine. Here are pics of my new bestest cactus friend (along with a pony tail palm tree that I also had to have).

cactus21.jpg cactus1.jpg

4. Occasionally I will pass a newsstand and an old man will be there. Accompanying this old man is an equally old dog named Peppy. Peppy was once at some time peppy, but now he is sendentary. And sweet. I always pet him and make cooing noises at him, probably that he doesn’t hear because he’s deaf. I finally walked by when he was there and I got a picture of him. Enjoy this moment with Peppy the (no-longer-accurately-named) Pomeranian. And do not fail to notice the incredibly screwed-up teeth on his lower jaw. This dog needs braces, yo.

peppy.jpg peppy21.jpg