Saturday, March 29, 2014

Catching Up - a Life in Snaps

I know I say this a lot, but time does kind of whip by when you are living it. Mom made a pointed comment last week about "why aren't you blogging anymore?" It's not like things aren't happening, and my schedule is a bit lighter. The commute is better and my working conditions are certainly better - so why not?

Sometimes you have to just let things go, so you can better deal with other things that need your resources. In my case, I think I was just so fried from the last seven years, (the last seven months, the last seven weeks, what have you), and just trying to survive this winter, regroup professionally, emotionally, physically, etc., that I just ... couldn't.

I couldn't concentrate.

I couldn't blog.

I couldn't organize.

I still can't really.

I only seem to have enough resources to do one thing at a time - forget the creative things. I could bake, OR I could read, OR I could crochet, OR I could travel, OR I could write letters to friends that I have neglected, OR I could try and blog -- on top of getting re-organized, getting re-situated, getting re-acquainted, getting re-acclimated, or getting through. I just really need sleep.

Lots and lots of sleep.

And I'm not getting enough.

This last past week, it all caught up with my health-wise. Which, considering my schedule for the last few months, is amazing. I had it all: head cold. sore throat. I was a Snot Monster. My back was out. I had gastro- and "lady" issues. I love it when I fall apart all at once instead of in bits.

But I still went to work.

Cause I'm dumb like that.

Whatever.

So, here are some iTouch photos of what has happened in March while I'm trying to get to and fro, survive, not freeze, etc. - not counting some work things.

In roughly  reverse order:

Another rainy Saturday. Off to do taxes today - Finally.
The day I got this book, I found this scarf. I'm DREAMING of a real vacation - in England.
Ah, dusk. I missed you. How could I have stood being chained to a screen in a cube in a big grey box for so long?
Signs of spring are FINALLY emerging.
It's a matter of perspective. One way - it's all bright -
Turn around, and winter is looming again.
I had occasion to head to the City a few days after the gas explosion and building collapse in the Bronx. The area is a familiar one from all my years on the train. The building was as close to the tracks and the windows as it appears.
Saturday morning. Above are from the night before.
As horrific as this was, and how devastating - no one really has mentioned how much worse it could have been IF the commuter trains had been right in front of the building instead of 10 seconds faster southbound toward Grand Central. The last car of that train was hit by a shock wave, but not damaged. IF it had been right there, there could have been derailments, injuries, fatalities - or worse, trains over the sides of the elevated tracks onto the streets. And a total shut down of a major transit hub. Scarey.

When I also think about prior incidents in my building, when we all smelled gas for days, propped open doors, and didn't call ConEd ... I get angry. At myself too - for not calling. Never again. We've all learned the hard way.

Anyway - it was GREAT to have dinner with my friend Michelle (no photos) and then brunch the next afternoon with Ms. Ruyi and Messrs. Matt and Ryan (no photos either!). On the way back from brunch I stopped by the quilt exhibition in Grand Central. Please see this link, or the blurb below. The work was incredible; so many versions, variations, techniques, 3-D techniques, etc. I love the turquoise fabric. HINT. HINT.
"Open March 15 to July 6, 2014 at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal The New York Transit Museum’s newest exhibition will honor Grand Central Terminal’s grandeur not in marble, but in textiles. Last year, The City Quilter, a Manhattan-based fabric store, partnered with American Patchwork & Quilting for a national quilt-making contest of landmark proportions. Thirty finalists from that competition will be displayed at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal from March 15 to July 6 in the vibrant new exhibition, Grand Central Centennial Quilts.

For the contest, The City Quilter designed two beige and aqua fabrics, one modeled off the Main Concourse sky ceiling, the other a collage of distinctive features of the Terminal, including the Information Booth Clock, 42nd Street’s imposing statuary group, train track numbers and timetables. With the requirement to use these fabrics in their design, 81 contestants from 25 states submitted quilts for the chance to win a $2,000 grand prize and display their work at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store.

The challenge to reinterpret this grand space in fabric yielded a wide array of artistic visions. The quilts incorporate Grand Central’s iconic architecture, with chandeliers, clocks, celestial ceilings, acorns and oak leaves creatively woven into the designs. Quilters looked to the past, present and even future (by way of East Side Access) for “material,” drawing on personal encounters and family stories for inspiration. Although many of the contestants hail from far outside New York, Grand Central’s influence stretches far and wide: in one work, fabric is cut in the shape of neckties, recalling the daily commute to work on Metro-North; another quilt includes a letter between two lovers who met on the railroad. Each contestant takes a different approach to the theme, utilizing complex quilting techniques and embellishments to express Grand Central’s legacy in fabric. This exhibition is free and will be open to the public March 15 to July 6 at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal."
 
 

What else?
Oh yes. Although I used to "borrow" the golf-cart to go on joy-rides, I have a new "deere" dream.
I want to "borrow" this beaut.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. Hide the keys.

Actual e-mail conversation with Mom (condensed).

Me to mom: It's been 5 weeks. Can I kill the new job/b-day balloons now?

Mom: What? Your office mates do not like the smiley face taunting them? At least do it humanely 

Cue me screaming: DIE DIE DIE and stabbing the hell out of these helium suckers. I MAY have scared some officemates. Those newbies have NO idea the kind of personality I am still suppressing at ye old "little c."

5 weeks. Those balloons lasted a HELLUVA lot longer than flowers. THANKS MOM AND DAD!

Then there was the celebration of March 14 - AKA 3/14 AKA Pi(e) day AKA any excuse to throw a potluck. All pies, except for cow, were welcome.

Look, I know PI isn't PIE - but a) we're an arts organization b) a non-profit and c) musicians, mostly. Getting $$, budgets, and dividing up Pie = MATH! I made pecan pie tarlets and couldn't figure out what 2/3 cups + 2/3 cups = ? Fractions SUCK. Pi(e) doesn't. Doubling the recipe ended up as 3.14 x 26 = 81.64 or about how many little mini pecan pie bites I made, until I "tested" 1. (*chomp* 80)

We ended up with pizza pies, pies, homemade savory and sweet tarts, quiches, refrigerator pies, etc.


So good. What a fun March activity. 

We've Saved the Date for next year, which is 03/14/15 at 9:26 a.m. for the next one: the actual digits for Pi.
I've been asked what I am organizing for the 4/20 celebrations - and I have had to respectfully decline. 
420 = the wacky to-baccy - and that's SO not me. We don't need "funny" brownies at a place that is already "funny."

Did I mention it was winter through all this? With piercing cold winds on some days? It's enough to make you want to snap off an icicle and plunge it deep in your heart - I mean the heart of Jack Frost. Let it Go!? HA!
That "the cold never bothered me anyway" refrain. IS CRAP! It's COLD.

However, after years of being GREY - I will take these final grey rainy days of March - and a reverse commute - so I can stand outside for a few minutes in the suburbs, on a train platform, and see see the last lavender light of day.

 What else did I do in a very busy March? Oh yes ... 

There was a trip to Hershey, PA - where my fat girl, inner child may have done a little dance in front of Chocolate World. I remembered the Hershey Kiss street lights from a family trip in my "youth." It smells like chocolate ALL over the place - which, in my case served as an appetite suppressant.

For all that I was surrounded by it - especially the gift shops and Chocolate World - I only picked up presents and baking supplies. I didn't EAT any chocolate until after we left.

One rant about the lovely Hotel Hershey - a fancy, schmanzy hotel. WHAT KIND OF SADISTIC MONSTER THINKS PUTTING A SCALE IN THE BATHROOM OF THE HOTEL HERSHEY IS A GOOD IDEA? NOT TO MENTION A SPECIAL BATHING SUIT STORE?! SADISTIC HORRIBLE MEAN MONSTERS! You are in the LAND OF CHOCOLATE. YOU WANT TO EAT IT ALL! NOT GET A COMPLEX ABOUT HOW MANY POUNDS YOU HAVE PUT ON - AND THEN THINK ABOUT GETTING IN A FREAKING BATHING SUIT! WHAT STUPID COCKAMAMIE IDIOT THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?

Okay then.


Let me flip through my calendar .... Yup - so aside from work, concerts, and a few other friends dinners I didn't photograph - this pretty much sums up March. I guess I had more to say than I thought.

Bear with me - I will break out of this writers block/cage eventually. Spring will eventually break over the horizon - and maybe my creative synapses will spring back to regular blogging soon soon - aside from some family posts soon to come.


Is it spring yet?

all photos iTouch

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