Monday, December 31, 2007

HA!, that's funny

I was perusing a fellow photog's blog a moment ago and saw a little icon stating that her blog's readability level was rated at an elementary school level. I don't usually try things out like this, but my curiosity was piqued, so I clicked on the link and typed in my blog's info, and guess what came up?

I thought you all would want to know that you can all consider yourselves genius readers. Have a Happy New Year's Eve!


Friday, December 28, 2007

New Year's Eve at Times Square, going green

No, they aren't going to get rid of the tons of confetti; however, the ball is going high-tech. This year's 100 Anniversary ball was made out of L.E.D.'s (light-emitting diodes). Very super cool. :) (FYI - the celebration started in 1904, but 1908 was the first time they dropped the ball.)

To quote from the NY Times regarding how much power the ball is going to save:
"...The new ball will use about 15,000 watts compared to the old ball’s 30,000 watts....Power up 10 toasters, keep them toasting for six hours — the length of time the ball is lighted — and that will be the equivalent amount of electricity. “With half the amount of power, you’re getting twice the amount of light, so it’s four times more efficient,” said Brett Andersen, general manager of Focus Lighting."

I have family in town for the weekend, we're planning to watch the ball drop from 7th Avenue and Central Park South, and then stroll through Central Park to watch the fireworks. :)

What are you doing for New Year's Eve?


For information regarding the New Year's Eve Celebration at Times Square, click here.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pioneer Woman, on cnn

I stopped by The Pioneer Woman's site (one of my favorite blogs) this morning and found that she'd been featured on CNN. Thankfully someone put the clip on YouTube. :)

For those of you who missed it, happy watching.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Photos, for the holiday

Just some photos I took a couple weeks ago at Columbus Circle. If you have the chance you should go visit the Holiday Fair on the Corner of Cental Park West & Central Park South, and then stroll through the Time Warner Center to see the lights.

Have a great weekend!


Star 3

Star 2

I almost used this last one on my Holiday Cards this year.

Star 4


Monday, December 17, 2007

Apostrophes, blogger doesn't like them

I can’t tell you how many times I have corrected the Section Headers “Writer”s Resources” and “Books I”ve read” to read “Writer’s Resources” and “Books I’ve Read”.

This morning I noticed the apostrophes had changed back to quotes, so I give up. From here on out, when I get emails about the grammatical errors showing in the sidebar, I’ll just respond that I like quote marks better and that I’m starting a trend.

Do you think that will work?


Thursday, December 13, 2007

The New Look, dang that was hard

Cat stairs, originally uploaded by fofurasfelinas.

In keeping with the grand tradition instigated by John Scalzi, I hereby present you a picture of some cats, entitled "Cat Stairs" by fofurasfelinas.

Since the site overhaul was pretty substantial, (and took me longer than I planned) I decided more than one cat was merited.

On a side note, if any of you happen to know how to code Blogger html to allow a third column on the left, please drop me a line, I could use the help. :)


Monday, December 10, 2007

Leaf Angels, in central park

Two weeks ago while I was out shooting a portrait session in Central Park for another photographer, I caught this image.

Leaf Angel

Fall leaves lay thick upon the grass as far as the eye could see. They beaconed to be played in, and this gentleman blissfully answered the call.

I turned around just in time to see him plop down onto the ground and proceed to move his arms and legs back and forth with a bagel and coffee clutched in his left hand. It was just like little kids playing in the snow, sans coffee of course.

He was ecstatic, his coffee didn't spill, and I was happy to get the shot.

Fall is my favorite time of year.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Holiday Market, at columbus circle

Well, it's officially cold. I risked getting frostbite on various parts of my body in order to bring to you the following fabulous photographs. I hope you appreciate the sacrifice I made going out into the cold dark evening and facing the brutal winds that cut right through the liner to my ski parka.

Note to self: break out winter gear and find gloves.


So without further ado, I bring you the Holiday Market at Columbus Circle.

Holiday Fair 1

Somehow I've managed to miss this event for the past two years that I've lived here.

I discovered the market after strolling down Columbus Avenue last week during the Lincoln Center tree lighting celebration. I made it down to Columbus Circle and voila, there they were all these little booths set-up on the corner of Central Park.

Holiday Fair 2

Everyone was bundled up.

Holiday Fair 3

Here's the view facing the Time Warner building.

Holiday Fair 4

And a fabulous booth I found along the way. *grin*

Holiday Fair 5

Chocolate dipped strawberries.

Holiday Fair 6

And delicious looking candied apples. yum!

Holiday Fair 7

If you happen to stop by the holiday fair, drop us a line in the comments section to and let me know what you saw, bought, or ate. :)


Monday, December 3, 2007

Me, week seven

I did a new self portrait over the weekend to submit to contest running in one of the Flickr groups I belong to. I kept debating between the black and white version and the color. I finally decided to go with the color.

What do you think? Should I have gone with the B&W?




Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Excuse Me? . . .

I had to run to the bank today, so I stepped out during my lunch break. It’s fabulous outside, perfect Fall weather. Overcast, cool, but not windy and frigid. I walked past the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloons on 77th Street and continued on to Broadway dodging taxis, barricades, and construction areas. This part of town is nice to walk around, since there usually aren’t many tourists.

The bank didn’t take much of my time, so I thought I’d stop off at Fairway and grab a salad. I crossed the street, dodged through the pedestrian traffic and abruptly stopped when I caught sight of the swarm of people attempting to get inside. Um, perhaps the day before Thanksgiving wasn’t the best day to hop inside a grocery store to grab something to eat.

I stepped to the curb and looked across the street. Starbucks? Yeah, I guess they’d do.

I eyed the offerings in the deli section of Starbucks and decided to grab the Avocado Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread since I love avocado. (FYI-it wasn’t that great.)

I stepped to the counter and handed over the sandwich to the young girl standing behind the counter. “Anything else?” she asked.

On the spur of the moment I decided to get a drink, “A tall vanilla crème, no foam please.” I smiled.

“No foam. Whip?” She said back.

Whip? Oh, “Yes, whipped cream please.”

She punched a few things in on the screen in front of her, then held up a shiny red bag. “Are you interested in picking up a pound of our Christmas-“

“I don’t drink coffee.” I smiled politely, she looked at me like I had just grown another head. Yes I know I was in place that was built and marketed around coffee, but hello, I just ordered a cup of steamed milk. You’d think that if I liked coffee I would have ordered it.

“Does anyone in your family drink-“

“I’m single.” I was starting to feel like I was on the phone with my credit card company, you know, when they try to sell you all those security bells and whistles on your card for only $872/month.

“What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” she said.

I couldn’t believe it. My Thanksgiving plans (or lack thereof) were none of her concern. My eyes swiveled between the number displayed on the register and the pointed eyes demanding an answer. $9.XX? Was that the right amount? I mumbled something about double checking the price wondering if she had charged me for a Grande, after a glance at plastic container I remembered the sandwich was $6.25. So yeah, the amount was about right. I handed over my debit card.

She swiped it, then leaned forward and asked pointedly, “So, do you have plans for Thanksgiving?” I just stood there, flabbergasted.

“Excuse me, but can I just have my receipt?” I pointed at my card and the paper she had clutched in her hand.

She shoved them forward. I said, “Thanks,” spun on my heel, and walked away.

I suppose you had to be there, but I was so taken back by her reaction to me not wanting to buy a stupid bag of Starbuck’s Christmas Coffee Grounds, that I was furious for about 15 minutes.

Fern (not her real name) thinks I should have leaned right back toward her and said, “Why yes, I do have plans. I’m working at the soup kitchen, would you like to donate several bags?” (Fern works at the soup kitchen all the time, and so the quip came readily to her mind.)

The Starbuck cashier’s lack of tact coupled with the vibe that I got from her implying that it was not okay to be single is what set me over the edge. That she did it so vindictively and pushily left thinking, “Excuse me?”


FYI: I do have plans for Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

First Snow

Snowflake, originally uploaded by JJSchad.

I'm happy to announce that I saw snow this morning on my way to work, yes, I'm talking about those white little flurries that float through the air before dying a miserable death by melting.

Anyway, NYC's first snow of the season last year came in February. So I'm thinking that since I've sighted snow already, and it's only November, that we might actually have a winter this year. What do you think?


Friday, November 16, 2007

Winter's Eve, at lincoln square

Guess where I'm going to be on Nov. 26th?

"The Lincoln Square Business Improvement District and presenting sponsor Time Warner will host the 8th Annual Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square, New York City's largest holiday festival featuring free entertainment, family fun, food tastings, in-store activities and shopping around and about this colorful and vibrant neighborhood... all following the Lincoln Center Holiday Tree lighting ceremony at 5:30pm!

On Winter's Eve, stores, restaurants, cultural organizations and public spaces in the district will be buzzing with activities for both children and adults. At the same time, sidewalks along Broadway from Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle to 68th Street will be alive with performers, street musicians, jugglers, stilt-walkers and more, making for a festive fun-filled stroll through the streets of this dynamic Upper West Side neighborhood.

WHEN: Monday, November 26, 2007, 5:30 PM – Lincoln Center Holiday Tree Lighting, 6:00 PM – Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square

WHERE: From Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle to 68th Street along and around Broadway and Columbus Avenue.

BY SUBWAY: Take the 1, A, B, C, or D train to 59th Street & Columbus Circle or the 1 train to 66th Street and Broadway.


Hotel Cleanliness, not cool

This comes to you as a public service announcement for those of you who travel.

Atlanta's Fox News ITEAM reported that out of the 5 hotels they secretly investigated (four of them randomly chosen) all five failed to replace the glasses in individual rooms with fresh ones when cleaning the rooms.

The common procedure they found? Rinse them out and put them back. One housekeeping lady even cleaned the toilet and then with the same rubber glove on proceeded to rinse out the drinking glasses before putting them back.

The health expert they interviewed said the unwashed glasses could transmit diseases including flesh eating bacteria. I haven't been able to stop thinking about those video clips since watching them, and I'm worried about all the unwary travelers out there. So I'm spreading the word, consider yourself warned.

Read about it here, here, and here.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find an archived copy of the video clips online, perhaps FOX will re-post them at some point.

What to do?

BYOG -- (Bring Your Own Glass)

Happy Day, guess what I found?

Last night as I was hunting for my "lost" phone, guess what I found?

Yep, you're right. I'm looking forward to many restfull nights coming soon. :)


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Annee, things i remember about her

As some of you may know, my little sister Anneliese Bitter Wood (known as Annee, pronounced Ah-knee) passed away two years ago today from liver cancer. As November 8th approached, I've wondered what to do.

You see I don't want to forget her, nor do I want to let the day pass by without thinking of her, speaking of her, or remembering her. But how to do so? What's appropriate? And so for months I've pondered what to do, and finally two days ago I realized what I want this day to be, a day of remembrance, of celebration, of making note of what she did and who she is. A positive remembrance of her life, from those of us who love her.

So without further ado, I'll commence.

I remember Annee loved bananas. As a little girl, she downed them like they were water and she was a sponge. She was strong and stocky, and had biceps of steel. We used to hang her from the fireplace mantel to entertain ourselves and unsuspecting guests and friends.

She would dress up as wonder woman all the time, and wore the Halloween costume year round until she couldn't fit in it anymore.

I'll post a photo here of her and her wonder woman costume later tonight.

She wanted to be a percussionist in high school, but in 7th grade she had to start on a wind instrument first, so she played the trombone like Grandma Bitter. The next year she transferred over to the drums and played until she was in high school. She loved the drum core and had a blast.

She played soccer and was good at it. As a freshman in high school she made the varsity team and played for a few years. In the off seasons, she played tennis and softball. Needless to say, in high school, quads of steel joined her biceps, and her stocky frame became slim.

She took photography in high school and was on the year book staff. She fell in love with the art of taking photos and was the official family photographer.

She took German instead of French like me...I'm still not quite sure what to think of this. I must not have brain-washed her as successfully as I did Michael boy and Natter-B.

After we'd go to movies, she never ceased to amaze me when she'd start quoting all the funny lines as we'd walked out of the theater. She was a funny girl. Her favorite quotes came from The Three Amigos and episodes of Brach. And of course I can’t let this paragraph end without mentioning the scene she used to act out from Star Wars that never ceased to make me laugh. "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, You're My Only Hope." We spent an enjoyable afternoon once with her dressed up as Princess Leia, dishtowel draped around her for a skirt, hair wrapped up in buns, and trash can on her (which I can’t possibly remember what she did with).

She was often like that, dressing up in character before descending on us unannounced in full character as she quoted from her favorite movies. Oh she was a funny girl!

Annee was popular all throughout school, not because she was “rich” (we were poor) or was "cool", but because she genuinely cared about people and was a happy-fun person to be around. She stayed close to friends she had from elementary school on up through college because the relationships she formed were genuine and people knew it.

She fell in love and married a guy that was perfect for her in every way, even though he wasn't her "type". At first they were just acquaintances, but friendship grew to admiration, which in turn developed into a deep abiding love, and respect for the quiet gentle man who won her heart. Theirs was a happy marriage, one built on respect and love for each other, their disagreements were just that, disagreements. Arguments were tame and thoughtful.

Something she used to say about marriage was, "Start as you mean to go on." That you build patterns even in the beginning stages of a relationship, and that it's easier to uproot a pattern or path and re-lay it than to combat years of misunderstandings, bad patterns, and miscommunication.

Annee delighted in finding a steal on the bargain racks, and was crafty and artsy, but in an elegant and hip way.

She was smart. She earned fabulous grades in school (Summa Cum Laude in High School and Magna Cum Laude in college), received her Associates in 1 1/2 years, and her bachelor's in 1 1/2. Annee and I graduated with our bachelor's at the same time (despite a four year age gap). Two years later, she received a Master's in Social Work, and a couple days before graduation gave birth to her darling little girl Alli.

Two months later she was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer. No, she never drank alcohol. Yes, 90 year olds usually get this disease. She was 22.

She was always nice to me, and I knew that no matter how silly or stupid my problems were, she was there to listen. She genuinely cared, as was part of her charm.

She looked forward to being a mother, and absolutely loved her little girl Alli during the first two years of Alli’s life. Annee and her husband called Alli their little angel, because she was a sweet-tempered girl, which was a tremendous blessing as Annee struggled through bouts of chemo, pain, and sleepless nights.

She was a woman of faith, who was an example of patience as she fought to the end. She loved our Father in Heaven and would often turn to the scriptures and to Him in prayer seeking comfort and peace.

I know she still lives and watches down on us.

For those of you who knew Annee, what do you remember about her?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Skiing, at age two-and-three-quarters

I've been tagged by Kitty over at NY Portraits, and instead of doing the meme, this time I'll post a picture from my childhood. :)

This is my family when I was little. Yes, that's me in the green.

Yes, I started skiing when I was just a few months shy of my third birthday.

Dec 1979

Here's the original

Dec 1979 original

I have fond memories of piling into the family car with my dad and sisters, heading up the mountain to hit the slopes, with Neil Diamond's "Coming to America" blasting from the car stereo. We lived on the benches of the Wasatch Mountains and were just 15-20 minutes away from a handful of major ski resorts. Solitude, Alta, and Snowbird. Needless to say, we went skiing often. We learned the basics on the bunny hill at Snowbird, then graduated to the more difficult runs dotted up and down Little Cottonwood Canyon.

While in elementary school we mostly haunted the slopes at Solitude. They were closest and the least expensive of the resorts up the canyon. I have many fond memories going through the tree runs off to the side of Sesame Street (one of their most popular green runs).

I once got stuck under a gigantic pine tree after spectacularly crashing while skiing through the Sesame Street tree runs. I landed with a thwack against the snowy ground then slid down toward a tree trunk. My body slanting down, head toward the trunk, with skis up toward the trail, I wasn't injured, but was stuck. Immobolized, I thought I was going to die a cold and lonely death before anyone ever found me (most likely during the spring thaw). I cried for what seemed like hours, and no one answered my pleas for help.

Here' a fine work of art that I labored over for hours, that might help you visualize my predicament.

After realizing neither my sisters nor some good Samaritan was going to save me, and that I probably wasn't going to die right away, I managed to pull myself out from the pit and skied on to find my sisters waiting at the end of the run. They weren't too concerned about my near brush with death, and so after a few brief moments of making sure I wasn't bleeding anywhere, we were off to the next run.

As I grew older, we frequented Alta (my favorite, challenging trails and no snow boarders) and Park City Mountain Resort.

Things I love about skiing: the crunch of snow beneath your boots or skis, crisp air, brisk breezes; the smell of grilled hamburgers and fries as you ski past the restaurants perched half-way up the mountain; the wind as it rushes past your face as you fly down the mountain and the rushing sound that fills your ears; the solitude and pervasive peace that claims you as you carve your way down a wide slope or narrow cat track, and how silence presses in when there are not many people on the slopes; the feeling of freedom; the fun camaraderie of friends and family as you try new tricks or trails; the accomplishment I feel when I'm practicing proper technique; or the happiness I feel when I get over my jitteryness from the first run of the season and finally feel comfortable flying down the slopes, knees bending, snow shushing, and muscle memory returning.

But before I get carried away, let me say that I'm a scaredie cat (spelling?) at heart, that I'd rather take a nice blue run over a couple of black diamonds any day. That I almost passed out (complete with tunnel vision, dizziness, and tears) while peering off a drop-off in a snow storm so bad you couldn't see 15 feet in front of you. What did I do? Why I sat down and scooted my way half-way down the hill on my rear-end (much to the chagrin of my brother who won't ever let me live that moment down). You see, I ruined the fresh powder for all those who came after me...

So there you have it, me and the slopes. Fond memories and good times, too bad childhood doesn't last forever.

Do you ski?


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Me, week three

Well here it is, the photo you've all been waiting for with bated breath. My third attempt at a self-portrait. This week I decided to go yellow in honor of Halloween.

Me Week 3


Friday, October 26, 2007

Memorizing, phone numbers

The last couple of weeks have been hectic, and I'm looking forward to getting back to the blog in the coming days. :) For those of you who are interested, this time I was sucked into the photography world, the NYC Photo Expo, workshops and classes by people in the know, and meetings with other photogs. Man, time has flown, but it's slowing down now and I'm catching up on life.


Several times a year as I scroll through the names listed in my cell phone, I remember the good old days when I used to know phone numbers. I remember when I used to have them memorized and could recall them at whim or how muscle memory had been drilled into my fingers so much that my fingers knew patterns instead of numbers.

When this happens, my index finger hovers for a moment over the send button of my phone and I wonder if it's such a good idea that I don't know these numbers anymore. The moment passes, I hit send, and my phone connects the call.

The ease of calling someone and the rush of the moment usually keeps me from thinking too deeply of this disconnect and its ramifications, but today I read an article in the NY Times about outsourcing knowledge and it made me pause. And I thought of my cell phone, and how I rarely do math on paper, or how often I turn to the internet for knowledge I should be able to remember from classes in school. And I wonder again, it this something I want to keep doing?

The Outsourced Brain
Published: October 26, 2007
I realized the magic of the information age is that it allows us to know less. It provides us with external cognitive servants.
Unfortunately, I'm still undecided. Which in and of itself is a decision not to remember.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Aaaaack! how embarrassing

Have you ever arrived home after a long day, looked into the mirror and promptly slithered to the floor in embarrassment?

Well that was me yesterday. The mascara smudges circling my eyes were bad enough to rival those featured on Seinfeld. (For you Seinfeld fans out there, you’ll know the episode I’m referring to.)

I’m going to chuck the Estee Lauder trial sample I’ve been using for the past week, and trek down to mid-town to the nearest Bobbi Brown counter to resupply myself with my usual no-smudge mascara ASAP.

My apologies to those of you who saw me at my worst, I’m hoping you’ll be able to expunge the freakish sight from your memories…soon.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Me, week one

Me Week 1

Yep, that's me. *smirk*

I've decided to start doing a weekly self-portrait. This is week one. The only catch, I didn't take the picture, Sherri it looks like I'm off to a bad start. lol

That is unless I loosely use the term "self-portrait", because well, it is myself, and it's a portrait...right?

Next week, I promise to have been the one behind and in front of the lens. :) Everyone okay with that?


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

To: the biatch who sat next to me on the A train this morning

Dear biatch who sat next me during the insufferably long A train commute to work this morning,

I thought I would take a few moments out of my day to attempt to give you a few tips.

1) It's rude (and and considered disorderly conduct, see Section 1050.7, letter e) to play your music that loud on your iPod nano.

2) You're going to lose your hearing, sooner rather than later.

3) When I smiled and politely asked you to turn your music down,
you didn't have to be so incredibly rude while saying 'No'.

4) If you want to live to a ripe old age without having experienced some irate person shoving your iPod down/up/into one of your orifices, I politely suggest you never ride one of the New Jersey Transit buses out of Port Authority.

Hope you have a pleasant week and that you take my well wishes to heart as I'm particularly worried about your health.

Kind regards,

Friday, October 5, 2007

Saving The Planet, what are you doing?

In the past two days I've read these NY Times articles, and they're a little shocking. The world is changing and the time has long since passed when we can sit back with a "Que sera, sera" attitude.

A Swiftly Melting Planet
Published: October 4, 2007
In response to the new dangers of climate change, we need a mobilization of everyone with a stake in the future.

Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts
Published: October 2, 2007
Scientists are concerned by this summer’s massive polar ice melt and its implications for the future.

I'm going to:
  • start carrying recyclables home when eat out at places that don't recycle,
  • write to my elected officials and urge them to support environmentally sound laws and practices
  • and hope that the Silicone Valley green tech race will yield viable options to making our world healthy again

What are you going to do?


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Under Construction, yeah . . . i'm tinkering

Over the next few days, I'll be tinkering with the blog. Playing with the look and feel.

And of course, in the grand tradition of Scalzi, I'll be posting a picture of a cat when I'm finished.

Sorry I'm not writing much, but coding and photoshopping take quite a bit of time.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Dare to Dream, Paul Potts

It's things like this that give me hope to keep dreaming.

What about you?

Here's Paul Potts from Britain's Got Talent...

Friday, September 28, 2007

An Ass, in nyc

So there I was, minding my own business, finishing up the last bites of a slice of ultra thin crust pineapple and ham pizza when I looked up and saw a mule pulling a small wagon down Isham Street toward Inwood Hill Park.

Yes I was surprised, we don’t see large four legged animals up in my neck of the woods. Dogs, yes. Mules, no!

So I did what any self-respecting blogger would do, I hot-footed it home to grab my camera. (Perhaps I should start carrying a small point & shoot with me at all times. Of course that would necessitate me buying a point & shoot….)

Fortunately they stopped for a brief moment in the park, and I snagged this shot. Quite profound wouldn’t you say? The mule gazing off into the urban distance.

Ass in NYC 1

The mule & owners ended up spending the night at the Van Cortland Park stables in The Bronx.

It turns out that the couple (Bud & Kenny) are planning to travel the world on foot. You can read about their travels, gawk at their solar powered trailer, or donate to support their journey at

Anyway, it’s just not something you see every day on the streets of New York.


Ass in NYC 2

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fearless Bridal, sarah style

A few weeks ago I approached Sarah to see if she was interested in doing a “Fearless Bridal” session (formerly known as Trash The Dress or TTD). She was game, and so a few weeks later we found ourselves running around NYC's Upper West Side & Central Park having a great time.

I asked her if she wouldn’t mind writing up a little blurb for the blog, and she said sure (try saying that last part ten times fast). Her words are below, and I’ve even posted a fun clip highlighting fun photos from our shoot.

Happy reading & viewing.



When Melissa Bitter first asked me if she could take some pictures of me in my wedding dress, I agreed without hesitation. The weekend we hoped to do the photo shoot would be one week shy of my 1st wedding anniversary, and this seemed like a perfect time to pull out the dress and re-live some of the fun of my wedding day.

But, as the day for the photo shoot drew near, I began to get nervous. Melissa wasn’t going to take me to a photo studio for some nice conservative portraits. I was going to be out there in the public eye; in Central Park, on the streets hailing cabs, and on (not in!) fountains.

I realized- People are going to be staring at me! And despite being a Leo (very easily flattered and generally a sucker for attention), I became more and more apprehensive about tromping around New York in my wedding dress and veil until I finally found myself in the bathroom at the American Museum of Natural History touching up my makeup. And I was self-conscious…for about 5 minutes. Melissa was so professional and encouraging.

As the day progressed, I lost almost all inhibition (as demonstrated by the dance party shots!) and began to fully embrace what I was doing. I felt confident, sexy, and happy. People didn’t think I was weird- they thought I was a bride (albeit, a bride that was climbing over rocks and scaling stonework) and I was greeted by nothing but goodwill from onlookers. When everyone is smiling at you, wishing you congratulations, and telling you that you look beautiful in your dress, it’s hard not enjoy yourself. I felt that wedding-day flush all over again.

Was my dress filthy by the end of the day? Yes.

Was I exhausted? Yes. (Though probably not as much as Melissa who had to lug a 20 pound camera bad around with her everywhere!)

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. It was such a fun, liberating experience that the fact that Melissa’s shots came out wonderfully is just a bonus. The shoot was a great way to close out my first year of marriage- it reminded me that I’m still a little bit of a blushing bride, but it also helped me (finally!) get my dress to the drycleaner and pack it away that chapter of my life.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Linkage, to new york portraits

I'm on the run today and won't have time to blog later, so I'm sending you over to fellow NYC Blogger, Kitty @ New York Portraits.

Her write-up reminds me of my first three months in The City, where I lived on a couch in the front room/living room/kitchen. And my subsequent apartment that had a kitchen just as she describes.

I am now the proud owner of a fairly long/skinny kitchen, and I felt immediate kinship with the developer she mentioned. I ended up taking apart some metal IKEA racks and rebuilding it with shelves and a counter top. It's pretty ghetto, if I ever get brave enough, I'll post a picture so you can see it. ;)

How the Other Half Lives, by Kitty @ New York Portraits


Friday, September 21, 2007

Will You Marry Me? document it in stealth mode

Sarah 7

I read an article titled, Will You Marry Me? Say Cheese in the New York Times yesterday, the byline?
"Now, not only can men tell friends and family about the circumstances of their engagement, they can show them, too, thanks to a candid shot of the proposal."

I think the idea of shooting a proposal in stealth mode sounds like so much fun! I love capturing candid moments anyway, so I'm thinking this type of work would really float my boat. Are any of you men out there thinking about popping the question anytime soon? Mention you saw this on my blog and I'll cut you a deal. lol


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Avast!, international talk like a pirate day

I logged onto my flickr account earlier today and was puzzled when I saw a pirate flag waving accross their logo.

So what did I do? I went strait to google news to figure out what in the heck was going on.

And that's when I discovered that today is International Talk Like a Pirate day. Here's the official site. So to help celebrate the day in style, I'm posting The Five A's.

Here are links to the Official Pirate song and Rap, pirate style of course.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Self Portrait, at the beach

Me at the Beach

Here I am at the beach a few short weeks ago. The tang of the sea permeated the air, the roar of waves crashed along the shore, and the soft sand underfoot was soothing. This shot was taken at San Clemete, one of my favorite Southern California beaches. Why does it rank among my favorites? Well, because you can go out into the ocean 30 feet and still only have water reach your waist. It's perfect for boogie boarding.

I played family photog at this occasion, so this is all you're going to see of me in the near future. :)

A few days ago Kitty over at NY Portraits tagged me to tell you eight random things about me. Since most of you don't even know me, this should be fairly easy! lol

1. I fell out of a two-story window when I was 2 1/2, landed on my head, got to wear a cast on my head reminiscent of a football helmet and lived to tell the tale (obviously). I'll see if I can dig up some old footage to show you how I looked when I came home from the hospital.

2. I'm 5' 10" and started to regularly wear heals for the first time when I graduated from high school (really), because I was afraid to be taller than all the guys I knew. Fortunately it didn't take me long after graduating to realize that I was already taller than most the guys I knew and that not wearing heals wasn't going to make any difference. I said, "Skip it", and have had a blast ever since.

3. Je parles francais. Vraiment. Mais, je ne suis pas les cours de francais depuis long temps, donc, toutes de ma grammaire sucks dirt.

4. I started snow skiing when I was 3 1/2, and have the photos to prove it.

5. I'm listening to Gravel Lines by Amy Seeley right now. She's a new favorite as of two days ago.

6. I'm a dreamer.

7. I'm a fix-it girl, hand me a screw-driver and a wrench I can fix anything. Well not really, but I did help lay and grout a travertine floor, made my own picture frames, and was the go to handy-woman in my family while growing up.

8. My two favorite books of all time are The Blues Sword and Beauty by Robin McKinley. I found them when I was around 10 years old and have read them so many times I've lost track. Yes, I still read them, especially when I'm in the mood to cozy up with an old friend.

Here's the part where I'm supposed to tag eight other people . . . but you know my thoughts on that. Instead I'll tag just a few. Feel free to respond or not, I'll still like you anyway. lol

1. Mother of Boys @ Lem n' Em, sorry for those of you who can't access her blog.

2. Merebuff @ Clifford Goes to Town

3. Camsavwin @ Plenipotentiary

4. Donna Boucher @ Quiet Life

Feel free to heckle my lack of French skills in the comments section.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Stealing Shots, not so covertly


A week ago I had the pleasure of shooting fearless bridal session (more commonly known as Trash the Dress) with the Sarah in Central Park. I'm processing the photos tonight and had to share when I came across this one. Check out the camera action she's getting. lol

When we got done shooting at this spot, Sarah turned to me and said laughing, "They were taking pictures." I'm just glad I caught it on camera. :)

It was tricky getting shots both with and without the boats in the lake. That pesky couple in front kept getting in the way. They went back again and again, they probably kept wondering why she was sitting all by herself in the middle of the lake.

Stay tuned for more pictures from Sarah's Fearless Bridal session later in the week. They're awesome!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Headshots, by bitter

Just wanted to spread the word about a headshot special I'm running for those of you actors and musicians out there in need of updated photos.

The Deal:
Book a shoot in the month of September for any Saturday, or Monday-Friday (5:00-7:00) from Sept. 1st to Oct. 15th (2207) for $99+ NY sales tax.

The $99 sale includes approximately 200 headshots, up to 2 outfits, and 1 lightly retouched image from the shoot. All sessions will take place in NYC, on the Upper West Side, and will be shot in natural light.

To book a shoot, email Melissa (ack! now you know my name!) melissa @ (remove the spaces to make the email address work) and let her know what date you'd like.

For those of you who don't need headshots, but have artsy friends who need them, spread the word. If you do, I'll work on expanding my blog to give away free desktop wall paper and add the how to/recipe section I've been planning, like pronto. lol

-Bitter, someone who's not against bribing her readers to support a good cause...

A small sample of my work. :)
Girl 3

Aaron 1

Yalei 1

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Day of Good Deeds, 9/11

White Flower :)

Six years ago when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC, and then into the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, I was shocked.

I remember blow drying my hair upstairs when it happened. My mom had turned on the TV to watch the news and we found out what had been happening for the past forty-five minutes back East.

I remember sitting down at the top of the stairs, brush in hand, in disbelief. There I hovered, hoping and waiting for it to not be as bad as it looked. I don’t know why I stayed up there on those hard wooden steps looking through the banister to the TV screen below, when I could have gone down and sat comfortably on the couch, but there I stayed for the next couple of hours riveted to all that was happening.

I remember feeling sick inside, my face echoing the horror I saw etched on the faces shown as the towers began to fall. You see, I knew that surely everyone would make it out of the towers okay. That there would be a happy ending. And as rescuers dug through the rubble, I thought surely they would find survivors.

My sister, The Expat, told me once of that day in Washington DC. She worked in the International Trade Center in the District, and she told me stories of the evacuation. Of women running in their stockinged feet, leaving high heeled shoes behind. Of the confusion, and panic that she and her then fiancée experienced while trying to find each other in the crowds. And lastly of their long trek home, on foot, crossing over the Potomac.

But mostly what I remember from that day, beyond the horror and dismay, is the outpouring of service. Of the New Yorkers reaching out and giving aid to strangers they’d never met; the long lines of people waiting to donate blood for survivors that would never be found; the many acts of kindness to neighbors; volunteers and professionals rushing into the fray to save someone else.

It was beautiful to watch as kindness and gentleness spread across the nation as we all for a few short months were kinder to each other.

And that dear readers, is what I’d like you to remember today. Not the horror and anger. Yes, there is a place for the anger, but it doesn’t do much except eat at you from within. Instead, I urge you to reach out to others in need and do a good deed. To honor and remember those admirable and brave people that lost their lives on 9/11/01 in service.

Here's a quote from an article in Yahoo! news about an organization called

“The heroic acts of all those killed trying to save others that September morning has spawned a growing grass-roots movement. The goal is to ensure that future generations remember not just the horror of the attacks, but also the extraordinary outpouring of humanity during the days, weeks, and months that followed.”
I urge you to remember and honor those who died that day, by reaching out and doing a good deed.

To learn more about or participate in my Good Deed, click here.


Friday, September 7, 2007

Woe Is Me, light pollution & that d@#*! fly

I’ve always been sensitive to light while I sleep. I think it hearkens back to the days when I briefly --What’s a couple of years when you’re getting on in years? -- shared a room with my two older sisters.

I spent my mornings flinging a pillow over my head morning after morning as they arose an hour and a half earlier than me to get ready for high school. (No they couldn’t get dressed in the dark.) I quickly learned the fine art of blocking out light while maintaining a steady supply of fresh air.

So NYC is not the darkest spot on the planet. In order to sleep, I’ve hung dark blankets over my curtains, and more recently invested in a nice handy dandy sleep mask. You know, those scraps of silky smooth satin and elastic band made in great colors and occasionally accompanied by ruffles.

Audrey Hepburn wore one in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

But I digress, sometime last week in the middle of the night I managed to loose my eye mask. The one I wear to block out the streetlight shinning across the street, and that wonderful morning sun that insists on rising first thing (6:00am) no matter how much I complain.

So last week at some point in the night, my eye mask disappeared. Unfortunately when they’re new the elastic is firm and springy, and they tend to slide off fairly easily. At least they do on me.

I vaguely remember it sliding smoothly over my hair and the feeling of cool air caressing skin that had been covered. In particular, I remember the firm tug of elastic against one of my fingers as the eye mask spring boarded off my head and across the room.

Alas, that is the last time I saw, or rather, felt my eye mask, the bringer of sleep to the light sensitive and fashion accessory to the jaded.

I’ve searched high and low, dug through piles of bills I’ve been meaning to shred, and luggage that I’ve not yet put away.

Restless nights have plagued me ever since, complete with psycho creams and tired itchy eyes that stay with me all day. I yawned all day at work on Tuesday and I’ve been dragging ever since. Who knew light and the things we condition ourselves to could make such a difference?

I did a little digging about sleep and lack of darkness for this post, and found out some interesting facts. Did you know that a simple nightlight can children's eyesight? That light pollution has been tied to breast cancer in labrotory mice, and as for my complaint of the moment, lack of restful sleep.

Turn out those lights and pull down those black-out shades. The dark is good for you.

So you’d think my life was bad enough with no sleep, but then the fly came.

I spent Tuesday night with a big fat fly buzzing around my room. Who knows where it had been, I refuse to think about it because is showed a disturbing tendency to be near me. I think it was drawn to my sparkling personality, but regardless of why it liked me, it was quite annoying.

Before I went to sleep and turned out my lights, it kept landing on my arm or leg, and thankfully it decided to go to sleep when I did. When I finally put my book down and turned out my lamp it quit bothering me. That is until the next morning.

At 7:00 am the fly reminded me of its presence. Since I wouldn’t wake up and play, it took to landing on my face (lip, chin, and nostril…). Moment after moment, I brushed it away until I was fully awake long before I needed to be. Once my mind was alert and thinking, I couldn’t help but ponder the poisonous roach traps in my apartment or the boric acid sprinkled around the walls. I wondered if the fly had stopped by those places, and if I was going to die a horrible painful death by the end of the day.

I left my bathroom and front room windows open when I left for work, and I am happy to report that the fly is gone. It either died or flew away. I’ll take either one, at least it’s gone, and I’m still alive.

So wish me luck while I dig through my bedroom this weekend, I really don’t want to buy another mask, but I need to do something before I go crazy. I need sleep.

Inarticulately, (Because really, how could write anything half-decent while I’m half asleep?)


The Shack Stack, at the shake shack

A burger, a burger.

Some of you may remember back in July when The Drama Teacher came to visit.

Determined to venture out into new parts of the City, and wanting to show a veteran NYC tourist something new she hadn’t seen before, I dragged her down to Madison Avenue & E. 24th Street (Flatiron District), to the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.

I first heard about the Shake Shack two years ago when I read a blog post about their webcam. Apparently the Shake Shack is so popular that people come from all over the world to see it--well, tourists make a point of stopping by once they’re here--and the line can get a little long. So before you go, feel free to check their webcam to see how long the line stretches.

We took the R train from the Midtown and got off at 23rd Street, and then strolled past the Flatiron Building and along the bottom of the park before snagging a place in line. We then debated the merits of each of the menu items and which one to order. We had lots of time to ponder.

Shake Shack 1

By the time we reached the window, we were determined to experience The Shake Shack to the fullest, so we both ordered the Shack Stack, (it looked like it was the ‘coolest’ burger they had) fries, and a drink.

After paying for our meal, we were handed an electronic pager that would alert us when our food was ready. Freed from hovering near the Shack, we wandered to a nearby table and plopped down into some empty chairs.

A blissful moment passed while sitting in that dappled shade; a gentle breeze kept us cool. My back was telling me, “Oh goodie, something to lean against." My feet throbbed in agreement, in all, it was pleasant to kick back and relax after running around Midtown all morning.

It wasn’t long before a buzzing filled the air as my pager rattled merrily against our metal table. So I did what any rational hungry person would do, I hopped up to get my food.

Here’s what it looked like.
Shake Shack 2

The Shack Stack
Shake Shack 3
The Shack Stack: sandwich of 2 cheeseburgers and a ‘shroom burger served with lettuce, tomato and shack sauce.

The Cheese Fries

Shake Shack 4

Looks absolutely fabulous doesn't i? I do have to admit, I was a little let down by this food, however, you may find it perfect. The Drama Teacher gave it three thumbs up, and the party next to us gave it five. (How they got five thumbs when there were only two people sitting there is beyond me. Perhaps I should have checked to see if he had six fingers on his left hand.)

As for me, I thought it was too salty all-around, and maybe a little too cheesy. Yes, I know, I chose to get the cheese fries. We were going all out, I didn’t have a choice.

The issues I had with the Shack Stack.

You see, the burger only had two wimpy little--soft & thin--slices of tomato,--yes they were that red--and one piece of lovely lettuce. Beautiful? Yes. Satifying? No. Especially when you take into account the triple middle. Two beef patties, one with cheese, and a muenster cheese-stuffed-breaded and fried Portobello mushroom in the middle.

I like a little crunch from veggies in my burgers. Some onion, perhaps a little dill pickle (although perhaps not on the Stack). So the veggie department @ The Shake Shack gets a couple of thumbs down. But somehow I don’t think they care. I’m probably not the demographic they’re targeting anyway. I'm thinkin' this type of burger would be right up my brother's alley. Perhaps when he finally comes to visit, we'll go.

Side note: I’m sad to say that just today I learned that I could have requested onion and pickle, if only I would have known… However, if I’m getting a triple pattie on a burger entitled “stack” you’d think they’d give you a little more lettuce and tomato, so I’ll stick to the thumbs down on the veggie dept.

The Shack Stack was yummy, but I definitely got my caloric and sodium count in for the day if not for the week.

The fries were lovely. Crispy and fresh, I don’t have much to say about them except perhaps the cheese fries are overkill when eaten with the Shack Stack.

Would I go again?

Sure, I now need to go try out their shakes. Oh! So many choices. But as for the burgers, I think I'll leave them for when friends are in town.

When planning your visit, keep in mind that their hours are seasonal, so if you're hankering for a Shack Stack when there's a foot of snow on the ground, check thier website first to see if they're open. As of now, they're toying with the idea of new winter hours, but haven't firmed anything up yet.

For those of you who always look for a second opinion, here's a link to Serious Eats. They're famous in the food blogosphere, and love the Shake Shack.

And before I sign off, a simple word of caution, The Drama Teacher was given an open and half empty bottle of water. The staff was very nice about exchanging it for a new one, but it gets busy there and mistakes happen. So if you order water, double check to make sure that you’re the first one to partake.

For those of you, who have experienced the Shake Shack, tell us what you think in the comments section.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Free Hugs, i'm game

Ya want one? Just let me know :)

I had a blog all lined up today, but ended up waiting for a response from the comapny rep...

So in lieu of a burger blog, have a Free Hug.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Constitution, pt. 2

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how NYC is attempting to limit our first amendment rights by restricting photography and the right to assemble here in The City. Some of you have been asking if things ever worked out. In the words of Queen Juliana, here's how things stand.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Miss West Carolina, and her opinion about maps

From the Miss Teen USA competition. So funny, it's almost painfull.

Miss West Carolina's response.

Video Game, from fatty's son

I'm sending a little entertainment your way, compliments of Fatty over at Fat Cyclist. His son programmed a macromedia flash video game that is quite amazing. My initial score, 32. My all time high, 5050 (which incidentally pretty much sucks). Report back and tell us how you fared.

For those of you Fat Cyclist readers out there, you'll get the inside joke when you play. For those of you who don't, you better start reading now. Fatty's a pretty funny guy.

Eat A Lot of Goats: the video game.


p.s. I tried to post this yesterday, but my computer decided to temporarily die on me. And Monday, I was out sick...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Glamour, in the park

Last Saturday as a small group of us NYC Social Flickrites and models strolled through Central Park attempting brilliance with our cameras. We stopped for a moment to watch a juggler while a few of our group refueled via a local food stand.

We stood chatting as the masses passed around us, a gentle breeze rustled the leaves overhead and dappled sunlight dropped down from above.

I stood a few steps away from the main group talking shop with Punk Dolphin, a Harlem Flickrite, when I looked up and saw this. It was over in moments.

Sara Rosa 2

NYC Social 12

NYC Social 13

Every once in a while you'll catch shots like these, I'm just glad I was ready when it flew by. I love the way the light caresses Sara Rosa's face, and her carefree beautiful look.

These shots are pretty close to what photogs call SOOC or Straight Out Of the Camera. The only tweaks I did were to sharpen and clip the curves layer. Beautiful.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Neglecting, the blog

I'm sorry I've been neglecting the blog. I know a lot of you click through regularly to check out the latest buzz, because I've been regular about posting it.

So I'm going to press the restart button and am starting anew. So here's the low down on why the blog has been neglected.

  1. As you know, I've been writing a book...well, even that has been neglected the past few weeks.
  2. My mom got remarried. It was a nice vacation, fabulous weather, UT and CA were great, (If I ever get tired of NYC, watch out CA I'll be looking for a new hood) and it was so good to see family again!
  3. I'm starting a photography business.

You're what!?!

Yes, you heard right. Since I bought my new Cannon DSLR back in April, I've re-discovered a love-affair with taking pictures. And at long last, the large creative void in my life left by being a non-musician is slowly being filled.

Wow that sounds so cheesy, but it's true, so I'm leaving it in.

I've been developing a portfolio, working on verbiage and pricing for my photography site, and even met with some models on Saturday to help showcase my skills.

So what am I going to focus on? Weddings, headshots, and relaxed portraits.

Need new headshots for the upcoming season, or in the middle of planning a wedding for next year? Spending the day in The City, or at the beach with your friends or family and want me to tag along to capture memories while you're playing? I'm the photog for you.

**I'll be running some introductory specials, so if you need a photographer within the next few weeks, drop me an email and we'll chat. :)

Enough of the advertisement. lol Here's a shot of one of the photogs I met last Saturday at the shoot in Central Park. It was a great day and nice weather, wish you were there. I'll post some more photos tomorrow.

NYC Social 8

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mmmmm Pizza, freddie & pepper's


It was a rainy day similar to today when I stopped by Freddie and Pepper’s and snapped this photo. Hungry, I slipped inside and went downstairs to order a slice. Down a few cement steps next to the tiny kitchen and pizza ovens I went.

Eyeing what they had already cooked up, I said, “May I please have a slice of mozzarella, tomato, basil?” Ever polite, I smiled at the guy who took my order.

He nodded his assent to my request to take pictures inside; I snapped a couple to show you behind the counter.


A few moments later I was the proud holder of a hot slice of pizza. The thin and crispy crust warmed my hands through the paper plate. The steaming slice smelled delicious. I sat down at one of the black and white tiled tables in the back and began to eat.

The hot cheese burned my tongue but I didn’t care, because fresh basil, garlic, and tomato were having a happy party in my mouth. I could think of nothing else.

As I sat back taking a moment to savor the delicious flavors I realized I’d forgotten to take a picture. Here’s what my slice looked like after a couple bites in.


Catering to the health conscious crowd, they offer whole wheat crusts (yes they have regular ones too) and soy cheese (yes they offer ‘normal’ mozzarella as well), and have a wide variety of toppings. Just take a look at the Gourmet Pizza section of their menu to get an idea. (You'll have to get to their menu the hard way, I can't get it to load by linking to it. Follow either link under menus.)

Whatever your hankering, Freddie and Pepper’s, near the corner of 74th & Amsterdam, is a great place to stop if you’re in the mood for a slice.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

So Happy Together, the wedding

Oh so happy together, aka Mom & Briant 7

Soundtrack for this post - click here

She was a cheerleader. He was a basketball player. They both graduated together from the same high school in 1968. Forty years later they find friendship and love, and will live happily ever after.

The wedding was beautiful and they beamed all day long. It was fun to watch them walk around with twinkling eyes and an "I'm the luckiest person in the world" expression stamped onto their faces.

The genuine love they have for each other shone through to the rest of us and lit the day. Welcome to the family Briant.

To see a few shots I took after the wedding, click here. I did the flowers, you can leave me congrats or critiques in the comments section below. lol


Monday, July 30, 2007

The Constitution, is my permit

Have I mentioned lately that I'm a little busy?

I have?

Oh, okay, well, still busy.

For those of you who only follow along online, my mom is getting married this weekend. :) You may leave your congrats in the comments section below, *hint, hint*. So, Lanie, here's your advance notice. When I fly out of town on Thursday, I'm toying with the idea of not posting until I get back in town a week and a half later. For those of you who don't remember. . .

In the mean time, here's what I did over the weekend. Read the NY Times article, sign the petition, stay up to date about this issue with Picture New York, watch the YouTube clip below, or browse through the rest of my flickr photos from the 1st Amendment Rally at Union Square.

Picture New York.

Picture New York WITHOUT pictures of New York.

Send a message to Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting.

Sign the e-petition.


Friday, July 27, 2007

D'oh, the simpsons


Why yes, that is a Kwik E Mart! If you happen to be in midtown within the next few weeks, make sure to stop by and grab a squishee. Located between 8th & 9th on 42nd Street this Kwik E Mart is full of all your favorites, from Buzz cola to Krusty-O's cereal.

The next time you take a break, make sure to surf by The Simpsons movie website where you can create an avatar, play The Ball of Death, or my favorite The Wrecking Ball.

Oh, and for those of you who don't know. The movie comes out today!

Oh, and go here and watch all three previews! So absolutely funny!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Michael Bublé, feeling good

So I, um, got a little distracted last night playing in photoshop, so, no new HP photos today. In lieu of photos, please accept this music video. Enjoy!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

B&N, potter style

After the Scholastic party down in SoHo, I headed uptown to Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Square. They held a costume contest and a local performing arts school acted out scenes from the HP books. It was great fun.

If you want to see more photos that I took at B&N, click here.


These ladies were the first in line at B&N.




Look! It's Hedwig!


And yes, that radish is real.