Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
So there's this thing called the Sketchbook Project.
It's sponsored by Art House Co-op. They have all these lovely little projects that are designed to get art to the masses and to provide a sort of gallery for anyone who fancies themselves to be an artist. They believe anyone can create art.
Art House hosts a number of projects at any given time. I had been seeing buttons for the Sketchbook Project on a number of the art blogs I visit so I decided to see what it was all about.
The simplified gist of it is for $25 you get a sketchbook which you have a limited time to fill up with drawings -or whatever your artistic forte is - based on a theme you pick from a list they provide (or they'll assign you one at random if you like). Then you send the book back to them and it goes on tour.
Like a rock star!
Once the tour is complete all work will go on permanent collection at the Brooklyn Art Library.
Here's a neat video that shows some of the sketchbooks from last year. And a PBS article.
Anyway, I thought it sounded like fun and a good challenge for me. So I chose a little blue sketchbook and the theme "Dirigibles and submersibles". I haven't got the sketchbook yet, but I'm starting on some drawings anyway.
Here's my cover idea and first page:
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Okay, so it's a little early. But we just found out at work that we are having a costume contest on Halloween for those of us
Except there's a catch: We have to dress up as a typecode.
Let me 'splain.
As a 911 operator in my county, I have the
Every call we take has to be entered with the appropriate typecode, which is a 2 to 6 digit "code" for whatever is going on. Like "DV" for domestic violence. PERW for a person with a weapon (but only if it's not a DV, because if it was, then it would be DVW).
ACCINJ for a vehicle accident where someone is injured.
BURGR for a residential burglar.
And the less obvious like PRKVIO for parking violation. DVOPV for violation of a restraining order. LANDIS for landlord tenant disputes. ALMH for hold up alarm.
And the extremely obvious: ARGUE. FIGHT. DUI. NOISE. STAB. ARSON. BOMB.
I've been trying to get STOOPD and WHINER, but so far they aren't going for it.
So I've been trying to figure out what would be fun. Clearly things like LEWD just wouldn't be appropriate for the workplace. PROST(itution) probably wouldn't be either. DOA might be fun.
Secret Agent Man suggested I be a missing person:
this kind (ADULTM)
...and just not show up.
AIRDN (airplane down) would be interesting to try.
As would RECKDR (reckless driver).
I also like DETOX (detox van for an intoxicated person) or LIQVIO (liquor violation).
Or WELFAR (check the welfare of someone).
Too bad we don't have a typecode for train wreck...
I can do that without even trying!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Once upon a time, not so long ago, you could ask anyone that question and they would immediately know what you were talking about.
Where were you?
Now you would probably get an answer of, "When?"
Where were you?
I was home in bed, because it was my day off. I had nothing more planned than to wash my hair, check my email, watch a little tv.
I watched a lot of tv that day.
I don't know that I ever washed my hair.
I was sound asleep when I got the call. It was my friend Jen. I was surprised she was up that early. I answered the phone, "Hey." She was crying. She said, "Turn on the tv." I asked, "What channel?"
She said, "It doesn't matter."
I went to the living room and turned on the tv. There was smoke, fire, falling debris. (Later there were falling bodies.)
I collapsed on the floor and told Jen I call her back later.
I watched in horror, trying to comprehend what I was seeing. Then the second plane hit.
Where were you?
I called my mom and then both of my brothers. I prayed for the victims and the soon to be victims.
I prayed for their families.
I prayed for the responders.
I prayed thanks that I didn't know anyone in New York.
Or even DC.
I found myself repeating, "Oh God, oh God, oh God" over and over, which I suppose was a kind of prayer in itself.
Where were you?
Due to my profession, I have, perhaps, a slightly different take on the whole scene. I kept thinking, and still think, of the 911 operators in those areas. I can't imagine the chaos of their call centers. I know what it's like around here when we "just" get a big car accident, an ice storm, the rare tornado. It's unbelievable how many calls we get, "just" for those things.
How many of those 911 operators wanted to leave and flee to their homes to be with their families? Every single one of them, I'll bet you. But they held their posts and did their jobs.
I can't imagine.
In my ten years on the job, I have had to stay on the phone and comfort the sad, the sick, the lost and the dying. How torn those 911 people must have been, between staying on the line for those who desperately wanted someone to talk to, and getting off the line to try and help the next of hundreds of thousands that were calling in.
How hard it must have been, to take call after call from not only victims, but citizens, and family members who were terrified, but from those who must have know they were going to die, or were already dying.
I can't imagine.
Where were you?
Today is September 11.
In law enforcement, it has traditionally been a day to honor emergency personnel all over the country. It still is.
But honestly, my heart's not in it. I just don't care about the new shirts. Or the food brought in for us. Or some mucky-muck from the County Commissioner's office that may or may not come by.
I'm not so focused on 911 as much as I am 9/11.
I see pictures from that day and my heart's still in my throat.
Why have so many forgotten what that day was like? There are those arguments about putting a mosque near Ground Zero. Too many people think that's okay. Really? Don't you realize they are wanting to do that just to make us mad? To make us argue with each other and divide us? Sad that it's working so well.
Personally, I think they should have left the rubble.
I'm sick to death of hearing that we need to practice peace, love and understanding. I think we need to practice some serious ass-kicking. I think we need to be reminded, on a daily basis, that there are those who want to kill us just because we are Americans. Those that would nuke this whole country off the face of the planet if they could.
We need to remember.
Every single day.
We need to remember who we are.
Where we are.
Where we were.
Where were you?
Monday, September 6, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Once upon a time there was a great dive bar called Hangar 57, or "the Hangar". Cheap beer, the best pizza in town and a tall, dark and one-legged bartender. However, the owner apparently drank the business into the ground, or gave all the profits to his
And there was much sadness in the land.
The loyal patrons (myself, Secret Agent Man, and our sidekicks Tornado Tom, El Jefe (or the Hedgehog as he is sometimes known) and the Engineer, started a quest to find a replacement for the Best Dive Bar in town.
The search was far and wide over the Land, which means we started right next door at a place called the Wild Weasel. It was a disappointment: it is not wild, and there are no weasels (although they do have a great steak n bake special on Wednesdays and all you can eat Maui ribs on Thursdays). The beer was fine and the bar wenches satisfactory but the atmosphere was not appropriately dive-bar-ey enough for us.
So we tried another bar, called The Park Inn. Again, the name is a misnomer: there is no Park or Inn involved, it is just a dive bar with so-so pizza. But the beer is cheap, the bartender wears gaudy Hawaiian shirts, and they have awesome jo-jo's with bacon and cheese. We have been back there several times. It is fairly dim in there, which we like as we try to discourage any recognition of Secret Agent Man, if at all possible.
He is sometimes mistaken for Jon Lovitz which irritates the crap out of him.
Unless it gets him free drinks.
Which has happened.
But I digress.
We have also tried the Northern Lights brewery - hottest damn chicken wings we've ever eaten. But, not a dive bar. And no pizza.
And the Post Street Ale House - a little pricey, but good wings and deep fried pickles. Yes, I said deep fried pickles, don't knock it til you've tried it. But still, not a dive bar.
We tried the Flying Goat, which has hoity toity pizza and expensive beer, but- alas - no goats, flying or otherwise.
We tried South Perry Pizza, which had great pizza and good beer on tap. No atmosphere to speak of, but they are in an old car repair business so they can open the roll up doors. I would go back, and in fact have gone back for carry out pizza. Mmmm.
This week we went to Stadium Pizza. It actually is, as it's name suggests, near a sports stadium that the high schools use. It is also a dive bar, though there is regular restaurant seating available adjacent to the bar area. (Also dive-ey.) The pizza was not bad. The beer was cold and cheap. The bar wench was skinny and surly, if you like that sort of thing. And apparently it was music night at Stadium! Bonus!
Of course, by music night, I'm talking about the drunk at the end of the bar with a harmonica. He could actually sort of play, but - although he was in key with the juke box - he was clearly not playing the same song. It was entertaining for all of 2 minutes. Then it got old. And loud.
But then it got better! Some guy showed up with a crappy p.a. system for karaoke! Yea! Karaoke Guy's repertoire was mostly old Neil Diamond songs, but he enhanced it with some old Lionel Ritchie stuff, too.
Tornado Tom graced us with some Bob Seger that wasn't half bad, but the true highlight of the evening was -not the old drunk coot who spoke/sang "Pancho and Lefty"- but the stocky young man with the awesome porn 'stache from the other end of the bar who sang a rousing rendition of "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead". He totally rocked it!
The next night we went to a local dueling piano joint called Gibliano Brothers. As far as I know there is no one there named Gibliano, nor is anyone related to anyone else. There also were no actual swords involved. Bummer.
But it is fun and they have good nachos. And drinks called fun things like Sex on the Piano and G Spot (Southern Comfort, Chambord and OJ...mmmm).
We went with different friends of ours this time, since it is not a quest for a dive bar, but a quest for fun with pianos. Last time we went Secret Agent Man requested "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - upbeat" which they played! It was cool.
They give you little slips of paper to make your requests, put your name and what your tip is. SAM usually writes things like "don't do electrical work in the rain" or "Lucky Lady in the 3rd" and on.
It was fun, but it would have been more fun if the table next to us had not brought their own stripper along. Boy was she hammered. I kept expecting her to take her shirt off. And if her bump and grind routine to any random stranger on the dance floor was not bad enough, some idiot then requested the piano guys play
** shudder **
Overall it was a fun evening. I am, however, looking forward to our next attempt at finding the perfect dive bar/pizza place. If we can find the right combination of atmosphere, cheap beer, good pizza and surly waiters - there will be much rejoicing.