EAT ME: The Food Photo Series

Hey, folks! All the photos, and all the food, I’ve worked on in relation to this blog have paid off! I just got back from hanging my pictures at Cherry Alley Cafe, a local coffee shop, as their artist of the month. Check it out!

eat me jpg

If you’re anywhere in the area, please feel free to drop on by. The food is delicious, the coffee is excellent, and it’s a totally relaxed place to spend some time. Reading. Chilling. Bring your computer and have your way with their wi-fi. It’s all good.

If you’re nowhere near the area and are reading this, chances are you’ve already seen most of the images I selected because they’re all food, mostly culled from the very blog in front of you. But nevertheless…here’s a sneak peek.

breskvice being placed

The joy of cookies. I need to start planning my Christmas baking soon.

Or there’s this one…

olives 8x10

When I say “A quarter-cup of olives”, I mean it.

But that’s it! I said good day! And go check it out if you get the chance. 

Thank you, friends, for reading. And thank you, good people of Cherry Alley Cafe, for asking me if I wanted to hang some photos. It’s an honor and a thrill.

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Then I Was An Extra In A Friend’s Movie

Hi Blogosphere! I’ve missed you! Sorry I’ve been such a slacker of late. I had a situation or two arise that I had to put to rest before I could take the time to write. It’s not you. It’s me. No, really, it’s me. I mean, I’ve got like a thousand emails in one inbox I have to weed through. Really. But! That doesn’t mean I couldn’t take a little time to make my cinematic debut, does it?

George and I are friends with Jessica and Steve, a couple of local independent filmmakers. Jess produces, Steve writes and directs, and BONUS! They’re a lovely couple. A few years ago they put out a horror movie called The Feed, which got a pretty significant amount of recognition at various film festivals. Now they’re making another movie, called Old Baby, which seems to be less straight horror and more creeptastic brain twister.  When they sent out the alert that they needed extras on X weekend, I was completely psyched to do it. Help friends? Be in a movie? Hell yeah!

Until I realized that was the weekend we would be out of town, at an Ohio State football game, with family. No going back on that. Que sera sera, right? *cue the sad trombone*

Happily, one fortuitous evening I bumped into Jess at one of our watering holes. I truly am sorry, I said, that we couldn’t be part of your all-extras-weekend extravaganza. It sounded like a lot of fun. “Well,” she said to me, “you’ve got one more chance.” Seems they were looking for people to do an overnight shoot. They were having a hard time finding extras, since they weren’t anticipating being done until at least 2AM and the filming was taking place about an hour west of home. But you know, George and I have incredibly flexible schedules, so we thought…hell yeah!

We were told to show up in kind of grungy clothes and/or pajamas since the scene we were filming was all about a late night at a no-tell motel. As an extra, I certainly wasn’t given a script but from what I understand, this film is about people living on the outskirts of society, and focuses on one person with a dark secret. I don’t want to slip and give spoilers, so that’s all I’m saying. When I got there Jess said, “Remember, no one here gets to be pretty.”  Fine. Heavy black eyeliner and blue eye shadow it is!

Baby, I'm a star.

Baby, I’m a star.

We all realize that “blue eye shadow” is code for “she’s a steaming hot mess”, right?

Oh! And here’s George, looking as scruffy as he can get…I did instruct him not to shave, so there’s that…but you know, his hair refused to stay mussed.

Mr. Good-Natured genetically rejects being too sloppy.

Mr. Good-Natured genetically rejects being too sloppy.

Seriously. SO. MUCH. FUN.

The extras were wrangled into the green room–a very nice green room, I might add, which was part of the caretaker’s apartment built on to said motel–where we got ready…and waited. We waited in green face masks and leopard-print robes, in work boots, in shirts pulled up and knotted under the breast.

Extras-wrangler Emily looks on as we wait.

Extras-wrangler Emily looks on as we wait. Some day, I’ll fill you all in on her masterful doughnut.

If you’ve never heard anything about the process of movie-making, bear in mind that it’s not all about the glamour. The common wisdom (which I had been aware of before showing up, and was thoughtfully reminded of by Jess) is that in film, you hurry up and wait. Bring a book. Grab your laptop. The woman in curlers brought knitting. And you’d think that sitting around…waiting…would be kind of meh. But here’s the thing: I was in a room full of really nice people. Everybody was nice. All the extras. The crew. The actors. Nobody was there to have a bad time. And when there were breaks in the filming, we got to wander around this motel, which was kind of retro-dated and so long, so very very long, it seemed like the hallway stretched on forever. With the spare lighting it was totally right for a creepy bit of intriguing, cinematic mindfuckery that this movie seems to be.

OH MY GOD THERE WAS NO ONE IN MY CAMERA...oh, wait. That's George.

OH MY GOD THERE WAS NO ONE IN MY CAMERA’S LENS…oh, wait. That’s George.

Check out the retro paneling!

I think my parents had this in the TV room in 1975.

I think my parents had this exact paneling in the TV room. Then my mother went a little nuts with some dark stain. Suddenly our entire house smelled of stain for a month and was dark walnut brown. That was interesting. And I digress.

Here’s the main motel room set, serendipitously set in Room 13. (Yay for fate! That’s the actual room number, in the room that worked best for shooting purposes.)

What? Like we don't all have high-tech movie swag on our cozy chairs?

What? Like we don’t all have a high-tech movie rig on our cozy chairs?

And here’s the front walkway, where the humble beginnings of my future meteoric ascension to the cinematic firmament takes place.

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Fact: I kind of love that little wooden bench.

Can’t you just smell my impending stardom? No? Sniff harder.

Anyway. We had a BLAST. Would we do it again? You bet, in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to see it. And I can’t wait for the next one. Jess and Steve, sign me up!

In case you missed it: 

Old Baby Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OldBabyMovie

Old Baby Go Fund Me page: http://www.gofundme.com/oldbabymovie

And the motel is for sale! If you want to own an honest-to-God movie set: http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/15824148/1530-Woodward-Ave-Lock-Haven-PA/ It’s in a beautiful location snuggled into one of the valleys of the Appalachians

Good for hunters and you outsidesy types.

Good for hunters and you outsidesy mountain hikey types.

What can I say? This is how we do in central PA.

See you at the movies, y’all! XOXO

Spam Haiku: Google, Spam, Bing

Mmmmm. Spam. Google SPAM. Delectable. Once again, I’ve received a spam that is far, far too amusing to throw into the electronic junk heap. Thank you, GODS OF SPAM! And I mean this in its many, varied ways. Mostly unretouched. All delicious.

Sooner or later,
Google will find all new spam
methods. These pre-com-
spam

Image from o.canada.com

 -puted numbers, hold
on in a very giant
information bank
From computerhistory.org

Image from computerhistory.org

for millions of the
URLs on the net. But
We’re sad that it seems…
Image from comesitbythehearth.blogspot.com

Image from comesitbythehearth.blogspot.com

…Memorial Day
wasn’t important enough
to Google. Hail Bing!

 (This Google/Bing feud is apparently real, people.)

Image from siftingreality.com

Image from siftingreality.com

Big Heron in my Back Yard

(With a grateful nod to The Dead Milkmen).

The other morning, George came running into the bedroom to rouse me from my morning Sudoku: “Hey! Check it out! There’s a great blue heron out back!”

Really?

Really.

They’re not terribly uncommon around us, but they’re not something we get on or near our property, since we don’t have a water source. I do, FYI, know someone who’s back yard fish pond has been fished out by herons dropping by, which is something my local friends should take under advisement if they’re considering any landscape renovations. I mean, seriously, people. It’s like setting out an all-heron sushi buffet, and I digress.

A few days ago, we had a nearly biblical-level deluge in the ‘burg; I even joked on the Facebooks about needing to build an ark. When it rains very hard our neighbor’s poorly-drained farmlet floods. This creates a temporary lake and paves the way for unexpected visitors. We’ve had ducks and geese swimming mid-farm-property, which is kind of surreal. There may not have been fish at the farmlet, but there are plenty of snakes and frogs and crickets and mice for an opportunistic heron to feast on.

IMG_0017

Surprise!

IMG_0001

So, you got any fi– heyyyy, what’s that thing?

IMG_0007

Ooh! Or there’s that thing, too!

IMG_0011

No but really, which is my better side?

IMG_0009

This is my “pensive” look. I’m just waiting. For Godot. Or a snake. All the same to me.

IMG_0008

HA! FLAPPING DEATH FROM ABOVE!

A few things:

Hooray for zoom lenses! I was at least a hundred feet away when I took these pictures.

They really are magnificent to look at.

So long as you don’t try to keep a stocked koi pond. (For future reference.)

Travel Theme: Orange

This week at Where’s My Backpack?, Ailsa misses the sun and longs for some fiery, bright orange to brighten up the days. Mmmmkay. I’m in.

First, check out the gorgeous orange bill and throat pouch of the double-crested cormorant. I saw this beauty when I was somewhere near Point Pleasant, NJ, the weekend after my niece’s wedding. Can I tell you exactly where I saw it? No. Thankfully, cormorants are hardy creatures whose numbers are on the rise. If you really want to see one for yourself, it shouldn’t be that hard.

I don't know why it's double-crested. It just is.

I don’t know why it’s double-crested. It just is.

During a recent trip to Baltimore, we saw an Orioles game. It was great fun indeed. But there was SO. MUCH. ORANGE.

SAAA-WING, batter batter batter, SWING!

SAAA-WING, batter batter batter, SWING!

This past February, I was walking around my yard (or “touring the estate”, as we like to say), I found this lonely leaf, stuck in the branches of a rather confused pussy willow. It was warm, it started to bud early, then it snowed…poor plant. But I don’t mind saying I was glad to get the picture, with the orange of the dried leaf highlighted by the sun, beaming as it made its way full west.

IMG_0061-001

Hey there, leaf. Thanks for catching the sun like that.

I was ridiculously taken by the bright orange keys on the old-fashioned cash register on display at the Meadowlands Museum. This fascinating little museum is three floors of thoughtfully curated, locally-minded, educational entertainment. I could’ve sat in the fluorescent-paint-illuminated coal hole all day. And they had old, leather football helmets that, when I thought of getting hit while wearing one, made me cringe. Bye bye, brain. But. They also had this cash register, which had (seemingly) random orange number keys and a big orange no-sale key. No sale, our Spanish speakers will attest, also means “Don’t leave”. This makes me kind of wistful and sad. I took about a thousand pictures of this thing.

Wait, but...what? Where you going? :(

Wait, but…what? Where you going? :(

And finally.

We went to Concord, MA for an afternoon while visiting my beloved Russian professor. We saw the illustrious North Bridge (American history buffs, you know the place of which I speak!) and the North Bridge Visitor’s Center. They were prepping for a wedding that was going to take place…very soon in proximity to our visit. Like, that day. I don’t know when it was scheduled to start, I wasn’t invited. Regardless, the wedding event doer guy (wedding planner? Florist? Groom? Not sure of his role) had that air of a man who was just…waiting. For longer than he wanted to wait. With a big old bouquet of bright orange roses.

The flowers were quite beautiful.

The flowers were quite beautiful.

So that’s my orange. What have you got? 

See you ’round Ailsa’s page!

How Typecasting Begins: Snowpiercer

Last night I went to see the movie Snowpiercer, and for those who never heard of it, let me sum up: post-environmental-apocalypse survivors are on a Train of the Future that’s been designed by a train genius, runs on a globally connected rail system and is powered by a perpetual-motion engine. Passengers are socially stratified. Those at the front of the train live in ease and luxury; those at the rear of the train live in squalor. The back of the train finally decides that enough abuse and degradation is enough, and they stage a revolution. Chaos and bloodshed ensues.

With me so far? Great. So. Here’s how I watched this movie:

Yay! Captain America and the Shit Pie Lady join forces with Billy Elliot and an intensely weathered Elephant Man to fight social injustice! I won’t tell you what part Truman’s creator plays, because I don’t want to be a spoiler. Tilda Swinton plays a post-modern Mouth of Sauron but you know…she’s just so good she can’t be typecast.

All you actors out there: fall down on your knees in gratitude that I am not a casting director.

And go see Snowpiercer if it’s playing anywhere near you. Sometimes the logic is a little shaky, but MAN is it ever an adrenaline rush! Plus Chris Evans. :)

Here’s the trailer.

Spam Haiku: Carp Bait

Once again, I have received a spam too delicious to not celebrate. This one, apparently, extols the virtues of carp bait. 

Carp bait.

Like I could leave that alone.

In order to preserve the syllabic pattern of a haiku, I inserted one word. Just one. Otherwise, it is untouched. Enjoy.

You will probably

recognise some or all of

these as some as used

i-have-too-much-stuffmore than others with

very great success in carp

baits. After users

carp baitchoose their avatar

they’re transported into their

apartment. But have

avatar apartment

you ever once thought

about living in your boat

full time. Esquimaux.

eskimo in a kayak

Photo credits:

Pile of stuff: http://infolific.com/leisure/safe-long-term-storage-of-household-goods/

Carp bait: http://www.trails.com/how_30322_homemade-ground-bait-carp-fishing.html

 Avatar apartment: http://avatar.wikia.com/Mako_and_Bolin’s_apartment

Eskimo in a kayak: http://bonkersycarax.blogspot.com/2012/10/road-trip-part-five-problem-is-all.html

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