Our family has grown, welcome Hattie!

Over the weekend, our little family grew by one. On Friday night, I took home a 5-6 week old kitten that was in need of a home. This makes the current count three cats which puts us inarguably into cat lady territory. Not that we weren’t already proud cat ladies, but now we can’t even deny it if we wanted.

While we considered running names like Fartlek (though, “fart-lick”) and Tempo, we ended up sticking with our Futurama naming scheme (flesh-based characters for pets and robots for computers/phones/tablets). Our six year old tortie is Turanga Leela and our three year old tuxedo is Philip J  Fry. The obvious choice here for a female cat would be Amy Wong, but we figured that might end up getting a little confusing considering some people call me Amy. We decided on a recurring bit part character named Hattie McDoogal. Go ahead, look her up. It’s not exactly a flattering name for this little bundle of cuteness, but I still think the name itself is cute as heck.

So far, we’ve kept her in our spare bedroom/office while Fry and Leela get used to her scent in the house. Leela is a tough one and doesn’t really like many people or other animals, she barely even tolerates Fry. She’s been off and on hissy, growly, and swipy with me. No surprise there. Fry is very, very loving, cuddly, and needy, but he’s also extremely timid. we’ve tried introducing him to her, but he just keeps a six – ten foot distance from her and runs away if she starts coming near him. We’ll probably try again later today.

Hattie is the sweetest and neediest thing ever. If you’re not paying attention to her, she’ll climb right up your leg. She is very openly friendly and runs right up to anyone who walks into the room. She just wants to be held and crawl all around me all the time. One of her favorite spots so far is sitting up on my shoulder. She very playful and active. I think we’ve got another lover here.



Against Me! at the Music Hall of Williamsburg


I know, I know, it’s been a while. Against Me! played the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn more than a week ago now and I’m just getting around to this. I was on vacation and out of the country, okay? Okay. Anyway, by now I’ve already seen a dozen or so reviews of the show and I don’t think I can add much myself, so I’ll just keep this short.

Seeing Against Me! is now unlike watching any other band I’ve ever seen before. No one else in the room matters or is even there at all for as far as I’m concerned. It’s just Laura and me. She’s playing these songs for me and I’m dancing and rocking out. To be honest, the band could have been completely out of tune and sloppy as hell and I don’t think I would have even noticed.

Against Me!’s lineup has shuffled a bit over the last few years, but the biggest change on stage is Laura. The change isn’t simply in how she’s presenting herself, but her entire aura is different. It was obvious on their first tour after she came out and it’s even more apparent now. She’s nothing but smiles and she’s enjoying every moment on stage just as much as the rest of us are enjoying watching. She looks so much more natural and free now. It’s not just something you can see, but it’s something you can feel. It’s almost night and day from Against Me! just a few years ago.

Along with her new level of awesome, Laura also now lines up in the center of the stage as opposed to the left side as many of us have come to expect over the last decade plus. It’s possible with the departure of Andrew from the band they felt she should be the one in front rather than a new member of the band, but it feels more like a statement. She’s not going to be hiding off on the side of the stage anymore, she’s front, center, and in our fucking faces. It’s nothing less than awesome.

To try to go into any deeper of a review of the show would require a deep understanding of my own personal feelings for Against Me!, Laura, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, and a few of the older songs with hints of Laura’s gender dysphoria (e.g. “Ocean”). I’m not going to do that, instead I’d prefer to keep some of that personal. Let’s just say my entirely biased opinion is this was the best I’ve ever seen them play. For reference, I’d estimate I’ve seen them around fifteen times now, going back a dozen years to 2002.

And now, the photos…


Scavenger hunt results

I had the day off from work last Friday without much to do, so rather than sitting around and doing nothing, I decided I’d put together a fun little adventure for myself. I created my own scavenger hunt to do! But this was unlike most scavenger hunts, instead of having a pre-made list, I took submissions via Twitter/Facebook/comments on this blog while I was actually out doing the scavenger hunt. Since the main goal of this was the spend the day with my camera taking photos, everything submitted had to be something that could be photographed. You can read about how it all worked here.

In short, this turned out to be a lot of fun. I really enjoyed wandering about the city while trying to be on the lookout for certain things. Most of my trips into NYC are very focused, but this was much different. Having the list being generated throughout the day was pretty cool too, it kind of keeps you on your toes.

Overall, I got a couple of decent photos, but nothing really amazing. Most of the shots ended up being just okay. I’m fine with that though. The idea worked out just as I had hoped it would, I learned a bit and got put outside my element. I got some real world practice taking candid photos of people and doing street photography. I’m the kind of person that gets a bit timid in public and around strangers, I tend to just keep to myself. This adventure forced me to not worry about what people are thinking of me as I’m walking around taking photos of all kinds of stuff–much of which didn’t look like the kind of things people would normally photograph. It was kind of neat and I feel like it helped me a grow a little behind the camera.

Having other people choose what you’re photographing is definitely a bit of a different experience. You spend more time thinking about how you’re going to photograph things rather than what you’re going to photograph. You’re forced to take photos of things that you might not otherwise have even noticed.

As for the list, I think I got a pretty decent response. I was a little worried heading into the city because only a handful of people had committed to sending in ideas, but a few others popped up throughout the day and I got more than enough submissions to keep me busy. I was able to get almost half the items on the list and would have been able to get more with a little extra time. The items that were submitted varied a lot so it never felt like I was looking for the same things over and over again.

I definitely want to do this again, probably once Spring hits. However, a few tweaks need to be made to the idea. The one big issue was that I got a lot of submissions too late in the day. There just wasn’t enough time to find them. Next time I’m going to shift the time-frame for taking submissions. I think something like an hour and half before I start up until two hours before I plan to finish will work out better. That way even the late submissions have a chance of being found.

While I liked the wide range of items on the list, I think the next time needs to be a little more focused. Whether it be to a smaller area of the city or to a theme of some sort, I need to narrow it down a little more. I was a little all over the place.

Anyway, the full list that was submitted is below and the photos are below that. I included a few photos of things that weren’t on the list, but for the most part, almost every shot I took during the day was of something on the list. I tried to stay on task.

  • Chrysler Building
  • cupcakes
  • Macy’s storefront
  • Rockefeller Center
  • cat and dog together
  • roll of film
  • female cab driver
  • something that looks like a heart, but isn’t a heart
  • woman reading a newspaper
  • The High Line
  • box of macaroons
  • Russian nesting dolls
  • little kids putting on ice skates
  • the face of someone stuck in a subway door
  • Big Apple Circus at the Lincoln Center (“the tent is up”)
  • guy eating hot dog
  • dog in sweater
  • pack of gum with non-English packaging
  • Statue of Prometheus
  • street performer
  • traffic cop
  • postcard rack
  • dumplings
  • silver bells
  • man throwing his balls in the air
  • chained up bike
  • me sitting on Santa’s lap
  • a coffee shop with everyone on their laptops
  • people ice skating
  • someone drinking hot cocoa
  • Naked Cowboy
  • Times Square seating area
  • pigeons
  • ambulance
  • misspelled sign