Thursday, October 29, 2009

Busy Bee

I always like to monitor who is coming to my site (well, how many, not really who precisely) and it makes me a bit sad how it drops off when I don't update for a couple days.  I know it doesn't really matter, but I like the idea of people stopping by and saying hi.  I guess it's just one more popularity contest.  Still it's one that I'd rather win than lose.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Now all I need is a cane

I have acquired, in my travels (well, in a catering job, actually) a top hat. That will make a nice addition to the Halloween outfit, though it does kind of lead me away from the James Bond theme I was favoring.  Still, how could I resist a free top hat?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bond, James Bond

I have to buy a tuxedo for a catering job I'm doing. While financially this doesn't totally make sense, I hope to be doing more catering in the future to offset dry spells in my film career, so I'm thinking of this as an investment. Also, I can wear it on Halloween. So I'm trying to think of ideas where a tuxedo works as a costume.

Possible ideas:

1. James Bond. Of the female variety. Of course, this means that I'll have to drink martinis all night, shaken but not stirred.

2.  A bridegroom. Maybe my bf would throw on a veil and be a bride? Hmmm. Maybe not.

3.  A lesbian (this was suggested to me by a catering acquaintance. I feel like it would have the potential to offend people. I'm not sure I have the balls to do it.  I need to stop worrying so much.  People aren't that sensitive.).

4.  ??? Any further suggestions? I wouldn't want to spend all the money on a tux only to work in it, after all. I should get some bang for my buck.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No, the new four letter word

I've been spending the day running around (metaphorically, actually I've been sitting on my ass in front of my computer) trying to get a bunch of places to let us shoot there for free. Apparently, even in this economy, free is too cheap.  The city of NY is pretty great about this stuff, so Central Park and other public locations were fairly simple to get. It is every single other location possible, including a shot of someone grabbing a book from a shelf at the library, that apparently is just impossible to get.  Like really? We're not shooting an action movie. There are no explosives. What's the big deal?

In non work news, I'm hungry. Since I've been working all day I haven't really eaten anything. I also am still sitting here in my pj's.  Apparently both working and functioning as a human being  is a stretch.  So I guess that wasn't non work news after all.  Umm. The cats are being cute. That is completely not work related, as they are cute all the time. That is when they're not destroying things.

Exhibit A:

The space bar used to be there. I'm haven't settled on a culprit yet, but I'm pretty sure whoever did it doesn't have opposable thumbs. Just an educated guess.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I feel like I'm getting ready for a marathon.  The holiday season is coming up and my plan of action is to finish the film I'm scheduled to work on soon, which will be six days a week of all day running around to beat the clock work, and then I want to try to get some kind of holiday store job - maybe two holiday store jobs.  My goal is still and always to find work in my field, but I need to store up some money and buy myself some more time to do that.  Catering is another good option, as it pays well and is flexible.  I've been doing a bit of that lately, and want to do more.  I really really just want to be working up to seven days a week to try to pay off my nice new computer and put some money in the bank.  I'm tired of counting all my pennies.

How is the recession, and the weak job market affecting you? I'm in an artsy field, which makes regular work hard anyway.  What are the other plan of actions out there to deal with the economy?  What are you doing for the holidays and how has that changed?

My plan is to get some kind of full time work, even if it's not in my field, and when it dies down in January go back to having more time for my own job hunt.  It is also to stay here in New York for Christmas, instead of flying down to spend it with my family. I just can't spend $400 for a few days visit, as much as I would love to.  I may visit in January instead if I can afford it. If not, oh well.  It is to spend a lot less this year on gifts, maybe even just making a big bunch of holiday cookies for some of the people on my list and wrapping them up nicely.  It is to not run up my credit card, and to put even just a little more money in the bank.

It is so hard to stay on budget during this upcoming few months - Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners alone are just so much more expensive than my regular pasta.  And I just can't give up gifts entirely. I would feel like Scrooge.  Even Halloween ends up costing a little money, either on a costume or just because I feel like I can't stay home being a hermit.

On the flip side, I will probably get to see some of my friends or at least talk to them a bit more during the holidays.  I will receive a few gifts, which even when they're small really excite and touch me.   I'll decorate a little Christmas tree and eat the fancy nice food I am worried about making. There will be leftovers for weeks, and plenty of cookies left for me.  I love Thanksgiving and Christmas - my birthday is right in there too - and I'm just hoping that money worries don't overshadow them.

So what are YOUR plans? What are you doing?  Is it ok to cut certain things out of the budget, or are certain things just too sacred to do without?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

tech help

So Nikki of Technikolly was kind enough to create a header for me, but I'm obviously doing something wrong when I upload it because the part that is showing up white is supposed to show up clear and look even cooler than it already does.  So why isn't it? Does anyone know?  Here's the pic pasted normally :

Why when it is a header does the edge show up white? (And apparently also when it is not a header - it didn't do this on Nikki's page when she posted it.)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We should be ashamed

I just came across this story on Yahoo! News, and it is so so sad and embarrassing that in this day and age a judge has apparently been getting away with this for YEARS.  In case you haven't heard yet, a judge in Louisiana is refusing to marry mixed race couples. Refusing. Illegally. A judge. Once that's sunk in, what is almost more alarming is that he has apparently been completely open about this, has been doing this for many years, and it is only now that a couple has actually stepped forward and complained.  I feel so ashamed as an American that we would keep a judge in office and pay him taxpayer money when he is breaking the law so blatantly. Especially when the manner in which he is breaking that law is flat out racist.  He should be fired, his cases should be reviewed, and the couples he insulted in this way should be apologized to. If we could get back the money we payed him that would be great too. Seriously.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Egg pasta soup, Italian style

I don't know what the dish I'm making today is called, but it's warm and filling, and with the weather getting colder every day it seemed like a perfect time to make it. It's kind of like the Italian version of egg drop soup, I guess.

Don't let the picture scare you - it was taken on the computer. It actually looks more appetizing in person.

First you boil some water (maybe a little less than normal, not much), salt as normal, and add the pasta. Little macaroni noodles or something small that can scoop up some broth is good. Spaghetti is probably not the best pasta for this dish.  Once the pasta is getting close to being done, break a couple eggs, as many as you feel like, into the boiling water and stir it around gently, so the egg breaks up but you're not actually beating it into the water.  Add a bunch of grated parmesan cheese to the water (generous sprinkling on the water, add until you like the taste), and season it with black pepper.  Stir it all up.  The egg, cheese, pepper and salt you added earlier is what flavors the water and makes the "broth." I've never tried it with actual chicken broth, who knows, it might be good. Then just wait for the pasta to be ready and instead of draining it take it off the heat and serve it like soup.

Lunch! Hot soup and a cappuccino.  Oh, and the pumpkin will eventually be both pie and a jack o lantern, so stay tuned for that :-).

New Header!

The lovely Nikki just designed a new header for my blog, which it definitely needed.  It is exactly what I would have designed myself if I was at all capable, and I am very grateful that she would go to the trouble without even being asked.  Thank you!


I am far too susceptible to random time eating internet games. Exhibit 1:

Despite actually being busy at the moment with various real life things, I have managed to build myself a nice little farm on Farmville, complete with elephants and rice fields. Very realistic. I think I may have a bit of a problem.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Killer Printer

I just bought a new printer (HP4400 if you're curious) and after going through the setup and printing a couple things realize I will need to exchange that new printer because the nice smooth paper that goes in is coming out just a little bit ripped.

I don't want to be picky or anything, because I know the weathered look is "in" but I really just want a printer where the paper emerges in the same condition that it entered. Except with ink on it.  Organized ink, not just globs of it artistically placed.  I probably should have gotten up off my ass and exchanged it today, but I didn't because since I don't have a car exchanging involves packing the thing back up and carrying to the subway, up and down several flights of steps, and then walking with it for 10 minutes to get to the store. And then the store probably involves its own set of hassles.  So I will try to do it tomorrow, as it does need to be done, but I am bitter (BITTER!) that I can't just plug the thing in and expect it to work. Especially since my last printer was an HP and worked for 4 years before deciding it just didn't want to suck up paper anymore, so the fact that this one couldn't get through its first sheet of paper is kind of annoying.

Craigslist Haters

I'm compiling a little list here, for all our enjoyment, of the angry Craigslist job seekers who not only do not want to apply for certain low paying jobs, but need to trumpet their indignation at the fact that the posters even dared ask ANYONE to work for so little. How dare they?? I love reading these post responses, so I thought maybe others would too.

Here are some I found just today :

In response to this :

Date: 2009-10-12, 1:42PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I am a graduate student, doing a study on the impact of design on the education of students. Working directly with students, need someone to film every Wednesday from 4:30-6 pm. You will have to complete background check for the organization that I work for. This is unpaid but could be published by the American Architectural Foundation. I do not have a camera but may be able to rent one from my university.

Location: Clinton Hill
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay 

Was this:

You need someone to dedicate every wednesday from 4:30-6pm to shoot your unpaid project? LOL

good luck finding someone, loser. 

It is short and to the point.  He both wishes him luck and politely expresses his opinion of the poster at the same time. Succinct.

Then there was this post:

Experienced Director/DP Needed

Date: 2009-10-12, 11:47AM EDT
Reply to: EDITED [Errors when replying to ads?]

We are a start-up Christian Media Company looking to produce a docu-series about 5 urban Christians living their life in faith. This is a small, low budget project and will take place November 1-December 12th, excluding the Thanksgiving holiday week (November 22-28). It is a 5 week commitment with filming averaging about 7 hours per week/ 35 hours total. We are looking for experienced directors who DP, have their own equipment (camera,light kits, microphones, etc) and who are confident in shooting documentary/reality style.

For more information please contact us directly at EDITED.

Thank you! 

The response (by the same indignant poster?) is :

There's a reason you've posted this ad several times now: your compensation is $350 for 5 weeks!!!!!!! Are you nuts?!

So that's why you're not getting any responses.

Captain Obvious. 

At least we know who he is now.  Although with a name like Captain Obvious it's no wonder he prefers to post anonymously.  In fairness to the original posters, it is like only 7 hours each week, not a regular work week like Mr. Obvious seems to be indicating. In fairness to all of us freelancers, if you want someone with their own equipment to volunteer to work with you a day a week, you're going to have to pay at least double what you're paying.  At least.

There are many more gems like this, though they get removed pretty quickly. When I am job hunting on Craigslist I enjoy reading these responses, which sometimes say what I wish I was energetic enough to. Generally, I just back click and move on from ridiculous job posts that ask far too much for too little.  There are many projects worth working on for little or nothing. I've worked on some of them, and was happy for the experience.  But there are many (driving a large van around and hauling equipment for your student film/small business commercial/random other thing that no one will ever see that are not worth working for free.  So while I wonder if these angry responders have maybe a liiiittttlllle too much time on their hands, I still enjoy it when they post.

Monday, October 12, 2009


So, I guess being a freelancer that I am kind of self employed (though sadly, far too often this year collecting a "paycheck" from Uncle Sam).  I've been running around like crazy lately applying for jobs, doing a bit of work, and preparing for a job in a few weeks where I am basically going to be running a film set. A small film set, and a low budget one, but still other then the director and the DP, I am IT in terms of dictator like power. Unfortunately with great power comes great responsibility, and I have been spending hours preparing for that power.  Preparation isn't paid, unfortunately, but I know that the experience will be wonderful for me and for my career, and that learning is never wasted.  Hopefully it is just one step on the ladder to Oprah like success.

Oh, and remember that cake I made? And remember my mother, who can be difficult, was visiting? Well, I had some cake left and wanted her to try it. I'm not sure why.

Mom: I tried your cake.
Me: Oh, did you like it?
Mom: It was hard. (Long pause, then grudgingly) Good if you dip [it in coffee].

Ah, just what every chef wants to hear.  I have my apartment back to myself though, and my cats are joyfully sniffing my feet, and there is just a little bit of that hard cake left for me, so life is good.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cake Carnage

Because she is a good friend the first full day she was here my best friend and I made cake.  A day later we made frosting - sometimes you have to wait for a good thing.  And then we ran around the city and ate food other people made for the next couple days, meaning that my boyfriend and I have been nibbling off the main cake like a pair of mice ever since she left.  No plates for us, that would be too much effort.  I present to you what is left of the cake:

It looks deceptively neat, but that is because we have been feasting on the other side. Yummy.  I made the frosting by basically throwing in a stick of butter, a couple cups of confectioner's sugar, a couple drops of vanilla, and a small cup of expresso and milk. No recipe, really, or measuring cups. Next time I might put a little less coffee and a little more butter, but overall pretty good.  The cake comes from a cookbook I have :

Rosie's Bakery All-Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed, No-Holds-Barred Baking Book 

Good Cookbook, although every time I try to make the mocha frosting in the book (with a food processor) the dairy products get all separated and I have to throw it away. I've kind of given up on it. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Friends and Anniversaries

With her permission, I'm posting a couple pics from my best friend's visit to the Big Apple. There are lots more, but you don't get to see them (haha) because I'm trying to keep my face off the blog. You know, in case all the rabid fans decide to stalk me...or whatever.

Anyway, below: Champagne Mexican Brunch. Yummy.  I was so full I wanted to curl up in a sunny spot on the sidewalk afterwards, but it was good.

On the other hand, something that will take your appetite completely away:


On another note, it is my BF and my three year anniversary. We celebrated with sushi and saki, a very satisfying pairing. We are now lounging at home, relaxing and feeling pleased with ourselves. The cats are exhibiting a similar mood.  Overall a good day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm Back!

Best Friend has left the state (boo) so after a weekend full of running around spending too much money, we are back to our regularly scheduled programming. I had a great time with her, and I hope she had a great time too.  As I spent Saturday working, and Sunday and Monday sniffing with a cold, I'm hoping that she was still able to get what she needed out of this vacation.  She took about a million pictures, so I'll post a couple once I get them, including some of our lovely champagne brunch on Sunday. MMM, nachos and alcohol before noon. Decadence.

I have also made my yearly pilgrimage to a house of worship, thereby hopefully insuring that if there is an afterlife, I make it in. If that is the case, I extend my thanks to Best Friend, as most of these pilgrimages are with her.  If that is not, well, churches are pretty. So good either way.

Next on the agenda: Mom's visit.

My mother and I frequently do not get along, so I'm frankly nervous about how we'll deal with each other on such close quarters without someone blowing up.  Even phone calls are kept to under five minutes usually. My little brother (who is wonderful and sweet) is coming along with her and they are all staying with me. So there will be three people and two cats in a little studio the size of a bedroom, with a bathroom that doesn't have a lock.  I'm not optimistic.  Does anyone out there have tips for dealing with difficult family members?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Interim post

It's been a busy few days and an especially exhausting day today, though fun in parts, so this isn't a real update. I just wanted to let anyone who happens to be a returning reader know that I'll be back to more frequent posts in just a couple days. Probably whining about the cold I'm getting.  You know, the normal.