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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Catching Up (New Year's Day edition)

Been out of touch lately. Here's what's up:

Friday, Dec. 21 -- My flight got in too late for me to attend Dr. Schwartz's funeral in Cincinnati, but I spent the entire rest of the day out at their house. Drinks and food and many good people made the day a pretty positive one.

Saturday, Dec. 22 -- Good friends (and charter sponsors of my photography venture!) Amanda and Guy had their annual holiday party at their lovely home in Newport, Ky. I enjoy holiday parties.

Sunday, Dec. 23 -- Drove back to Columbus to catch my flight back to New York. On the bus ride back into the city from LaGuardia, a tourist seemed lost, so I helped direct her to where she needed to go. This is relevant.

Monday, Dec. 24 -- Worked a slow and quiet Christmas Eve morning, then got a call from the lost tourist, a German nanny named Christina. She convinced me to put on ice skates for the first time in about 10 years. Was a little unusual spending Christmas Eve with a total stranger, but was nice to go ice skating after all these years. At one point, we saw a guy get down on bended knee at center ice and propose to his girlfriend (watch the video).

Tuesday, Dec. 25 -- Caught an extremely early flight to Cleveland to spend a few days with Mom and Mike. Ate some food, exchanged some gifts, napped, then big Christmas dinner, then more napping. The perfect Christmas Day!

The rest of the week was kind of like Tuesday. I ate lots of food and caught up on some rest. We went out several times, but what mom made at home was the shiz-nit. Sausage and cheese casserole for one breakfast, blueberry pancakes (with oatmeal in the batter) for another, shrimp salad to snack on throughout the week, Slovenian sausage sandwiches. Mom's cooking is so outstanding, and diverse enough that we're thinking about doing a cookbook now.

Another great thing about the visit home is the ample supply of hot water that comes pounding out of the shower nozzle, a far different setup than what I have at my apartment here in New York, where I get water pressure comparable to what would leak out of a limp garden hose that a car might be parked on in your suburban driveway.

Holiday Sausage GagTypically I'm the one annoying mom with toilet humor, but she actually pulled a fast one on me. As I said earlier, she made some Slovenian sausages for breakfast one morning. We had plenty left over. When I was in the shower later that day, she thought she'd try to scare me by leaving a little surprise on the floor of my room. None of her three cats was capable of doing something like what is pictured to the right, and it also didn't help her plan that I could hear her laughing all the way downstairs when I came out of the shower. But a good try nonetheless, mom!

I returned on Friday, Dec. 28, and had a lovely weekend. I don't go out in Chelsea often, but I met Crystal at Kanvas, which looks more like my type of place online than it turned out to be in person.

St. John The DivineSaturday I finally got up to Harlem to shoot the enormous St. John The Divine (pictured, left), but was ill-prepared on the battery front, so a return trip is likely soon. New friend Bridget from work is also an avid photographer, but I wasn't the only one who planned poorly. She suggested we hit some art gallery before heading up to Harlem, and when we arrived, it was closed for the entire weekend.

I'm starting to dig the west side a little bit, and that was even before Bridget and I grabbed a beer and a burger later at The Dead Poet, a perfectly laid-back spot for a late lunch or early dinner on a cold Saturday.

Stayed in that night but met Sneha for a late brunch in Brooklyn on Sunday. She's a designer for a high-end label -- I think I've mentioned her here before -- and when she shot up out of her seat during "Eastern Promises" two weeks ago to say "Oh my God, that's my dress," I thought she merely owned it. Turns out homegirl designed what Naomi Watts was sporting in one of the movie's final scenes.

Speaking of "Eastern Promises," here are some recent reviews:

I Am Legend (Theater) -- Will Smith can usually do no wrong, so he makes a mediocre movie with a decent premise pretty good. But certainly not his best effort.

Eastern Promises (Theater) -- Good movie if you can handle heavy foreign accents that cause you to miss a line or two.

Perfect Stranger (NetFlix) -- Interesting ending makes up for a lackluster first 45 minutes or so. Halle Barry is good, Bruce Willis is decent and Giovanni Ribisi was given a couple of weak lines, but if not for the script he was very solid.

Glory Road (NetFlix) -- I'm not crazy about movies that take too many editorial liberties with true stories. It's an important part of American history that's gone largely untold, and Josh Lucas certainly was good, but there were certainly some script and timeline shortcomings.

Rushmore (Recent purchase) -- I hadn't watched this in six or seven years, but it didn't take long to remember how much I enjoyed it when it first came out. Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman both should have called it quits after this one.

Up next in the theater: Charlie Wilson's War, Atonement

New Year's Eve got pretty out of hand for me. One minute I was in the middle of an "Entourage" marathon on HBO, the next I was laughing my head off at the network's On-Demand "Extras" series finale. If you're still not familiar with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, please aks somebody. I enjoy my couch.

So I think we're about all caught up. Write in with your New Year's resolutions. Or don't. Here are mine:

Sell a lot more of my photography, visit Africa, do my taxes early this year, run more, get back in the kitchen, listen to this guy more often, buy a new camera, sell stuff on eBay, drink less, organize my music, get more of my writing published, see Alli T. in person, sell my car, count to infinity, worry less, advance in my field, choose to be happy more, call fewer women, get rid of clothes I don't wear or anything else I don't use, read the fine print, learn how to make clam chowder, eliminate debt (heard that one before?), meet Jonathan Ames, reconnect with some old friends, actually eat the fresh vegetables I buy, learn Flash, read a manual and throw at least one party.

Happy New Year, y'all!

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At 12:04 PM EST, Blogger Slovenian Sausage said...

Flying on christmas day is the best

At 12:29 PM EST, Blogger Big Primpin' said...

It was surprisingly easy. I thought it was going to suck, but left on time and arrived on time.

At 1:38 PM EST, Blogger Slovenian Sausage said...

Your mom's gag lost it's realizm when she put that kilbasa on a napkin rather than on your pillow or in your shoe.
That's what I would have done...

At 1:41 AM EST, Blogger Vegas Gopher said...

On the movie front, go see Juno before the buzz reaches critical mass and you have to wait in line. Great little movie -- outstanding screenplay, wonderful characters, great actors. I think it's right up your alley.


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