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August 2019

The Quacktastic Four

Fantastic four duck

Good morning - did you know that it's been ten years since Disney acquired Marvel? 

Frankly, at the time, I lamented that there would be more crass cross promotion and less creative output, or that the once champion of social issues might become less textured and more family friendly .... and thankfully, I was wrong. I think Disney has successfully managed their Marvel properties in such a way that shows great restraint and conscience. 

Earlier this year, Disney closed on a deal to acquire Fox and, in the deal, got XMen and The Fantastic Four. I suspect the next wave for Marvel will be spotlighting these characters now that Captain America and Iron Man have left the cinematic universe stage (well, sort of, in that way that comic book characters never really leave, they just have the baton passed to them). 

In the next wave of movies,  I would like Marvel to consider replacing Sue Storm (in the Fantastic Four) with Daisy Duck.  I don't know why, but the idea of it made me so happy that I created a graphic illustrating what this would look like. Note to Disney: please don't sue me. :)

Just a little nonsense for a Saturday morning. Hope your holiday weekend is off to a great start! 

 


I Know, girl, I KNOW

TreeblogA few years ago, when I first made the leap from nightlife to corporate, a friend of mine reached out to ask if I was available to marry a couple of his friends who were coming up to New York from Atlanta. I, of course, said yes. 

This friend wanted to get me the deposit as quickly as possible so he offered to stop by my job. I didn't really think anything of it until he showed up and I saw myself through his eyes - he was used to seeing me in jeans, a t shirt, maybe in tennis shoes or Doc Martens, but I stepped into the reception in my office drag - button down shirt, khakis, nice shoes and wearing glasses. He burst out laughing, and I immediately knew why and I started laughing too. I whispered a wry,  "I know, girl, I KNOW!" and he giggled all the way out the door. (there aren't many people I will do "girl" with, and he was one of them). 

For some reason, I think of this scene often and, in particular, was remembering it this week when I have been thinking of where I am in my life. I had a good giggle and thought that I should reach out to him and see what he was up to as it had been a couple years since we last spoke.

Unfortunately, Friday morning I found out that this friend passed away in an auto accident in Florida on Thursday.

I am heartbroken.

He was a sweet, funny, man who had delighted me with his sparkling personality every time I would encounter he and his boyfriend while I would be out and about. It was hard not to find him charming and so many people did; he had many close friends scattered here and there and was much loved and appreciated. 

Knowing that I will never see him again has brought me to tears. 

When someone leaves us that we haven't seen in awhile, we vow to see everyone we know because we don't want that to happen...and yet, that's unrealistic.

But, I think that we can make more of an effort, certainly, to see more of our old friends than we do.

And most importantly, we must remember those moments when someone has touched us in ways that they may never fully know. They may "just" be someone you knew that brought some joy to your life....  and when they are gone, they leave a bit of a hole. 

Peace, my pal, you made a lot of people smile, including me. 


Tis Friday

.... and we're back just in time for a long holiday weekend. We had a lovely time, ate too much, and, as always, a good time was had by all. There was lush countryside that reminded me of where I grew up and we saw family. 

LandscapeblogOne of the highlights was hitting up a craft beer festival which brought two revelations -

...one, it's nice to try some new beers, but I definitely do not want the Venn diagram of beer and Jolly Rancher flavors to have any overlap. No mango beer. No orange beer. Just. Say. No. I think my friend Steve from Houston would have loved this, however. 

The other revelation had to do with expectations - we stayed at a guest house and the owner told us to expect it to be packed since it was sold out. I feared the worst. Visions of New York street festivals and Southern Decadence filled my head. But, as we were downing another 3 oz sample, we realized that 'this' was as crowded as it was going to get and ... it wasn't that crowded. Someone near us said to his buddies that next year they should go to (a neighboring town) because "it's half the crowds"... and I had to giggle. This is a crowd? 

Enjoy the upcoming weekend whereever it will take you - drop a note to let me know what you've been up to - you can leave it in the comments or shoot me an email (the link is up above on the left); always happy to hear the latest of what's going on in YOUR life! :)


Gone Fishin'

Sunsetblog

It's nearly the end of the summer and we're taking a little trip out of town to rest, relax and otherwise not be here.

Will be posting again starting next weekend. Or maybe before. or after. I don't know. I need a little 'gone fishin' time.

Not that we're actually going fishing but.. well, you know. 

Enjoy this summer sunset pic taken earlier this week in midtown Manhattan by yours truly. 

In the meantime, drop a note to say hello or leave a comment below. 


The Joy of New York

Good morning! 

NycskyblogI first visited New York on a stop over from Minneapolis to London in September 1986. I loved the city but felt that it was too big and too... overwhelming for me to ever live here. Looking back at that feeling now, I am happy to have been wrong. 

Five years later, in 1991, I was invited to a wedding in New Jersey and spent the better part of a week visiting NYC. What a difference five years made. I fell in love with this burg during that week and started to think about how I could live here. I spent the next couple years in graduate school in Chicago plotting my 'in' to New York all the while visiting about three to four times a year, making more friends with each trip. 

I first moved to New York in February 1994 just before my 30th birthday. I sublet a friend's room while he was on tour with THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES. It was out in Astoria and I was temping for Burson Marsteller located just above Union Square so the commute was kind of a drag, but who cared? I was living in NYC at long last!

I spent from 1994 - 1998 having the time of my life going on auditions, doing a couple of shows, taking mostly terrible temp jobs, and teaching 7,8,9 year olds at a NY based children's theater. I also started directing at a children's theater during the summers in Sunnyvale, CA (just south of San Fran) and finding a career path that combined all of my other career paths - event producing - by doing contract work for a non-profit in LA. 

I kind of felt like I was cheating on New York by spending so much time with SF and LA but, ultimately, one goes where the opportunities are. 

So New York and I broke up. We still loved each other but I needed to see other cities. :)

I ended up moving to LA to tackle more event work - those years were a strange mix of the following: 

  1. I had the most amazing social life EVER! 
  2. I was producing successful, well attended, weekly and annual events that made money and got a lot of press within the LGBT community AND, I feel, made a difference in people's lives. 
  3. I was getting paid for writing both online and off. 
  4. I was contributing to a friend's website business by consulting with his clients on best practices.
  5. I was occasionally 'temping' at a major entertainment company (this particular assignment is still one of my all time favorite jobs). 

but....

  1. I had a relationship that was great until it wasn't and then ....I was on my own.
  2. I had so many "Oh my God, I almost just died" driving experiences that I limited my time behind the wheel and became a borderline agoraphobe. 
  3. I missed New York and would take sporadic trips back here, but could not figure out how to work my way back in (at one point, I had a job interview for a cool theater job that would have started on 9/10/01. Probably best that I didn't get that one, huh?). 

Eventually, in May 2003 I moved back to NYC. In January 2004 I moved into my current apartment. In February 2005 I started a weekly fundraising Bingo show that lasted ten years and raised a quarter of a million dollars. In February 2006 I worked in my first events job that one could consider "corporate". In 2007 I met a guy I would date for 4 years but, in breaking up with him, I would find a brother. In 2011 I would get my officiant license (marrying people is a source of great joy to me). In 2012 my mother passed away and the circle of friends I developed got me through it in ways that I would never have thought possible. In 2013 I began a corporate events role that took my work and my life to very interesting places (both figurative and literal). In 2016, I met the Mister and I re-discovered my art. 

That's 20 years total living in this burg and it's a great city, but you know, sometimes I get grumpy about living here. The subway, the rents, the pace, the hassle. We all know the drill. 

But it does feel like home.

And yet, there have been times recently when I could see living elsewhere whether that was due to work or other situations.  

Spending a chunk of my current work week in New Jersey has, maybe, given me a renewed appreciation both for living here and also reminded me that there is a world outside worth exploring. Funny that my New York adventure started in New Jersey, so it's kind of come full circle. 

Nothing more really to this morning's post than just a simple appreciation for all the things that life has to offer especially the things that have yet to be discovered. :) 


The Only Way To Do It Is To Go Through It #webcomics

DrawingtableblogThere are times when the blank piece of paper on my drawing table looks blanker than at other times. I don't know why this is, but it's true. 

I sketch and everything looks stupid. Does this happen to you? 

Or, maybe worse, sometimes my characters speak to me about what they're doing. They tell me fantastical things they're doing and I struggle to have the ability to depict those adventures.

I had this 'conversation' the other day: 

ME: Com'on Angie, let me know what you're doing.

ANGIE: I have.  

ME: Yeah, but I don't know how to draw that. 

ANGIE: You can, it just might take longer than you want it to, but you can. 

ME: (sighs) can what you're doing be something that I can draw, please? 

ANGIE: .... .Where's the fun in that? 

ME: (looks again at the blank piece of paper on my drawing table). 

My characters challenge me to tell their story.

And sometimes your muse tells you what you need to do and the only way to do it is to go through it. 

Has this happened to you? And what do you do then? 

Well, I think, if you want your characters to stick around, you get to work. That's what you do. 

 


If You Want To Talk, Why Are You Sitting In the Quiet Car? And Other New York Mysteries

NjtransitI travel back and forth from New York to Short Hills, NJ at least once or twice a week and I am in a profession that's fairly stressful, so when I get on NJ Transit, I aim for the quiet car. Yeah, I know it's not the "mute" car, but geez louise, if you want to yak IN A VOICE LIKE THIS, why would you sit in the quiet car knowing you're bugging the crud out of people? I mean, if you're just a jerk, then have at it, but.... are people really that mean or are they just clueless? There are at least a half dozen other cars devoted to "talk as much as you want, go crazy" why pick the one where people are trying to get away from.. well, you? 

But then, New York City holds many mysteries. 

Such as, if heat rises, why are the subway platforms like saunas? It's not like they're hermetically sealed, there is (admittedly only some) ventilation. 

I also continuously wonder how it is that people don't understand that sidewalks are a pedestrian's two lane highway. Always walk on the right. Is this different in other states/countrys/planets? 

Speaking of planets, on which planet do people have to be from not to know that when you get to the top of a stairway, you keep moving? Triple ditto for an escalator. I have remarked over the years to friends and they respond that I'm being too "New Yorkery"... but really, where on Earth do people not know how to use stairs? An eternal mystery. 

The above falls under the same category as the guy (and it's almost a guy) who stands in the subway doorway and then grunts when you try to, you know, get IN to the car. But there's always people of both genders who don't know the spread of their own butt and think that they can sit down in spaces that they... uhm really can't fit. Think: Winnie the Pooh trying to leave Rabbit's side of the hill home. 

I was talking to a friend the other night who moved back from LA a year ago and we were comparing "I nearly got killed driving in LA" stories, so by and large, the Mysteries of New York aren't life threatening, just garden variety annoying. 

May your weekend be free of mystery and incredibly joyful! 

P.S. the photo of the graffiteed NJ Transit sign has nothing really do with this blog post, I just thought it fit in the theme of New Yorkers/New Jerseyans (?) who can't even anymore. lol