Category Archives: New York City

How is it all ready almost February? Of course, I saw all those hearts and chocolates covered in red tutus everywhere, but didn’t we just celebrate Christmas and New Years? I’m looking forward to Valentine’s day week, not because it’s Valentine’s day, but because the Monday following is PRESIDENT’S DAY! That means it’s a long weekend for me, bitchez!

But seriously, I find that I want the days to go by faster, because everyday seems more tedious than the one before. Is that depression? And then I realize I lost a whole month, and I kind of want the months to pass by too, because I should be out of this funk when I get more sun, and when more paycheck days go by. Haha. That’s sad, though, because I don’t have too much youth left, imagine if I spend most of the rest of my 20s that way. What a waste! I should be delighting in the days that go by… and the only analogy I can come up with is savoring every bite of my thai curry noodle soup today. Figures. Each day grows dinner once lunch time is over. :P Then I look forward to dinner. Then… sleep.

I’m finding it hard to keep my up my discipline, about work, being frugal, about eating right, and going to the gym. I feel like each day crawls by, but all of a sudden, I’m still caught by surprise. That’s not a way to live. More and more, I am convinced by that.

I feel like perhaps I need a resolution. Not a New Year’s one, but goals for this month. This month’s goals were to go to the gym for at least an hour 4 times a week and keep the apartment clean. I had an easier time doing the former than latter. Still, I should clean the apartment today, so I can say I did it. I need fun projects, though, like reading a book a week for 56 weeks? I should be able to read that much, right? I used to read 200+pages a day for Grad school… freakin’ german Philosophers, for godsakes.

First and second week of January, other than my fashion magazines, I’ve been reading Malcom Gladwell’s “What the Dog Saw.” Ryan got Nocturnes by Ishiguro for Christmas, and I loved his “Remains of the Day,” so I read that. The story, unfortunately, was a bit sterile, especially compared to “Remains…” I started Davies’ “Fifth Business,” but I let Ryan read it first. I took his finished, “Tokyo Vice” by Adelstein, which I am pouring through. Now I am seeing Yakuza’s in every elvis haired older Japanese male.

Of course I can challenge myself to find new work projects, some freelance projects, etc… but that won’t be very enjoyable… and then my procrastination comes out. It’s an uphill battle.

Maybe my resolution should be 3 posts a week? HAHA, start with 1 post a week?

I’ve never spent too much time in Williamsburg in the snow. I have to say that it gives the whole neighborhood a charming feel. Snow always messes with the senses, I think. Everything seems quieter, or at least muffled. There’s a sound to snow, like a silent static that other sounds need to get through. It’s also just dark so early. I don’t feel warm and fuzzy about this neighborhood during the winter, but the snow made everything look enchanting.

There was a weird unmarked dark bus parked on Bedford, which offered pictures with Santa and some drinks inside. That was a little creepy. I’m not in the habit of getting into weird buses to drink wine and sit on a strange man’s lap.


I went Christmas shopping with Ryan and his sister, however, I ended up getting things for myself. Tracy and I both saw respective ear warmers/mufflers that we liked, so we bought each other one and switched. Something like that. I bought these Pantone colored mugs with the color label on the bottom. I’m really taken with them. I love the concept and I want to collect more colors. For now, we just picked up the primary colors of red 186 C and royal blue 286 C.

I love the concept and I love how easily they integrate with our other things. I am even tempted to get a mug for myself to use at work. I am that tickled by this idea. It would be awesome if I could get a custom mug with the specific Pantone color of our logo, that would be awesome. D at live events would laugh, as half the time we’re trying to track down particular shades for banners and other materials.

golden half

Otherwise, I’ve been playing with a lomo-esque camera that Ryan got me this year, for Christmas or an anniversary present, or something. Who knows?! He found it at Paul Smith and it’s rubber/plastic exterior is really pretty. It splits the frame of the picture in half, so that instead of 36, you can shoot 72 photos, where two frames taken in conjunction share a shot. I look forward to see how my play shots come out.

But the snow, people are calling it Snowpocalypse, why? I mean, we get bad snow. I don’t know why Delta and Jetblue refused to fly. I guess we aren’t used to getting snow so early in the year. I remember last year we barely got a white Christmas. Usually it snows during January or early February. Either way, this unexpected snow fall in the east coast caused Jetblue to cancel all flights out on the 20th from the Boston and NY area, offering no other contingency plan other than a free booking on Christmas day. It was ridiculous. The customer service representation that we spoke to originally was even smug about it all. Finally in the middle of the day after being on hold for well over 5-10 minutes, there was a voicemail that asked us to call them back at a later date due to the high call volume. I know I will be very reluctant to fly Jetblue in the future, since if something goes wrong, they will be less than accomodating. Other Airlines have packages and contingency plans with other airlines and WILL book a flight for you on another carrier. Jetblue will not.

flock installationflock

In other news, the other week we finally put up some art that we bought. I bought some sculptures before Thanksgiving by artist, Darla Jackson. Her What are you afraid of? piece caught my attention. She juxtaposes animals in very human poses and emotions that I completely dig. Her other works that I like include the Birthday Party series. I couldn’t quite afford the bigger works and the one that I love best (unfortunately with my Cambodia trip in the horizon, I couldn’t even afford it in installations), but I really liked the flock installtions she did, and I bought some plaster birds from her. She was sweet and packaged them lovingly and securely, and mailed them to me minding some high maintenance requests. She also apparently had a baby recently and had to take time away from that bliss to mail these out to me, so thank you! We love them.

I was SO afraid of taking them out of their packaging! I didn’t realize that the birds were so fragile… that plaster was so fragile. In the end, Kevin Curran from Laundromat Gallery installed them and the below art we bought from him, when he came over.

Liz's DrawingLiz's Drawing

Months ago, we attended a Laundromat Gallery opening for Liz Atzberger, and Ryan fell in love with one of her works. Apparently it was priced accordingly so that no one would buy it, but that plan was obviously a “fail.” In return, Kevin offered to come over and install it and other works he needed hanging, like a commissioned poster of one of Ryan’s big works for Celebrate Brooklyn and NPR, for some beer. He was also nice enough to lend his services and expertise in hanging my bird sculptures I bought.

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Composing and Cocktails at the Le Poisson Rouge

There was iphone composing, electronic music coupled with live instruments, and theremins!

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I did not see Obama. He spoke inside and came and wen through the back (of course), which was blocked off by a big Mack Truck. I kid you not. However, he did apparently go through William Street and wave to everyone!

I’ve been staying with my mother for nearly a week. It’s just easier in some respects, since she has air-conditioning, cable, and will cook and do laundry for me (shut up, you would do it too). She’s also very pleasant to be around and I don’t see her nearly as much as you would think. She likes having me around and I like to oblige when my schedule allows it.

Ryan is in Portland, OR, and it’s easier commuting to work from my mother’s place. Also, I think I would just feel really lonely in that apartment. For someone that likes her space… you would think that I would relish being in the apartment.

I will say that I went to go check on the place today and surprisingly, it felt like home. My mother came with me (it was her first time seeing the place, believe it or not) and I entertained her *in my own apartment.* I find that funny. Of course I feel familiar and comfortable in my mother’s apartment, but it was nice to be in my own space.

My mother was concerned about the neighborhood, but I told her not to worry. I think it was starting to grow on her too. Of course, they cleaned up the elephant head, which is good. That would have been odd.

Otherwise, I went to Williamsburg and had dinner for a friend’s birthday. It was quite lovely. I’m going to make more of an effort to discover things in Brooklyn/Wiliamsburg, not because it’s cool, but because it’s *my neighborhood.* I’ve been a bubbled up manhattanite for way too long…

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Ryan: Sometimes I see things like that on our street and I feel like I am living in a Murakami novel.
Umi: Yeah, that’s a pretty regular occurance, like, “Yes, there is a giant severed elephant head on our street that randomly appears one dark night. Yes it won’t get cleaned up for another few weeks, probably.”

Ryan’s been involved in an ensemble called Blindear. They have been having concerts at the Gershwin Hotel on 27th and 5th avenue. The idea behind this ensemble seemed to be to give composers a new avenue to explore New Music, especially with electronics and live performance. Their first performance covered live instruments, electronics, interesting items, such as the theremin, and drum beats from Brazil.

This being said, after the first concert, they have been fixated on this idea of loops. The co-founder, Jacub Ciupinski, created a program that feeds the player bars of music via computer. The idea being that the composer can feed the players music in real time, thus composing on the fly in real time. The composers are asked to create bars of music that the composer will construct together at the concert.

They are still ironing out the details, but this last concert had a really warm reception. I’m impressed and glad to find that it wasn’t a one shot wonder. They played one performance with 2 flutes and 3 string players and did another one with just 8 string players. As I understand it, the composers are constantly making new “loops” to try out. It’s interesting to see an ensemble like this grow… sort of organically, through concept, into sound and diversity of repertoire.

It’s interesting, because, so many things can go wrong with a wireless network. Interference, network droppage, ip problems… I mean I encountered so many of them on a daily basis while working for the Dept. of Ed. It’s a monster of a project…

It’s a fun gig and I wonder how things will spin out from here. If you’re in the area, you should definitely check it out!

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