gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Default)
And just like that, summer is here. It's nearing the end of May and I've already had cause for turning on the A/C. The clock is ticking on me getting dissertation writing done (I plan to send something in to my committee in July). And I haven't even posted the pictures I took at the Pride Parade nearly a year ago. :shameface: I've been totally exhausted lately. I'm sure it's work-related and just caught up to me. But now I've fallen into a pattern where I don't sleep well at night, wake up tired, come home and nap after work, and don't sleep well again. Here's hoping the 3-day bank holiday weekend helps fix that.

On the plus side, T-Rex and I are coming up on our first anniversary! And I've joined another CSA. I've given up on the last one. I found them just too disorganized and it was a struggle to pick up the produce by 6pm. So this year I joined the Stanton Street CSA. They held a little "welcome orientation" last weekend and I got to meet the farmer. He was a lovely, soft-spoken fellow who talked about his farming, philosophy and commitment to supporting area agriculture and good labor practices. And he gave us a sense of what to expect, which was quite helpful. I got to meet the home organizers and some of the members and everyone seems super nice. I also have a share partner, who I have not met yet. (She posted on a board looking for someone). But we have emailed and spoken on the phone.

Pickups are Thursdays, so at least I can prep/store/cook at the weekend.

I leave you with this picture. T-Rex and went for a walk after dinner earlier this week and stopped for dessert at a place called Dessert Club. I got a green tea shaved ice and boy was this more than I expected!



And yes, I am totally omitting the story about how I was feeling too ill and tired this weekend to go out so T-Rex went to the Waystation with some other Whovians and wound up meeting Matt Smith and Steven Moffat there.
gina_r_snape: (Noel flirty hair twirl)
Thought I'd post this here as LJ is acting up (and [personal profile] cmcmck suggested it!

Greetings flist!

It's been a busy few weeks and I am more than remiss in wishing you all a Happy Chanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

T-Rex and I have been so super busy that I opted to stay home today, slightly crushed from fatigue. (I slept until 1pm!).

One thing we did to be in the holiday spirit was go to the Holiday Train Show at the Transit Museum shop at Grand Central. This video is waaaay better than the one I attempted. Enjoy!



We also rode a vintage train! It ran along the M line. T-Rex and I enjoyed it so much we went twice! First on our own, then with some friends the weekend after. Here are some clickable thumbnail photos (and a few videos) of the train ride and assorted other Christmas-y New Yorkness.

Enjoy!

Photobucket

T-Rex and I with friends on the train )



Reproductions of vintage ads, along with some old train signs )


Some other views of the train )


I'd forgotten how loud these old trains were. But LJ keeps cutting off my post and now this is the third time I'll try to re-type it. GRRRRR!!!! Embedding this video seems to be a culprit, so here's a direct link

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v64/ginarsnape/?action=view¤t=IMG_1718_zps9a83c0df.mp4

It was great fun riding the vintage train. I remember it from my childhood, so it brought back tons of memories. T-Rex remembers it too, and he loves trains. So it was a joy just to watch his face light up when we were on it. The friends who accompanied us had never ridden them, so that was a treat. :-)

T-Rex did a lot of walking in December. Here are a few pics of us about town )
Christmas itself was quiet and lovely. I LOOOOVED the Doctor Who Christmas Special. I felt a real spark of excitement for the Doctor finding (being found by?) a new companion. And there was good chemistry between them. So for the first time in ages, I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

And New Year's Eve was quiet. Neither of us felt like heavy partying (or being around other people, even!) So I put together a little cheese plate. We ate some nibbly things and sipped our drinks and sat on my couch and giggled. And as T-Rex noticed a 7-second delay from the Times Square broadcast, we toasted the new year twice. ^__^ It was wonderful to be tucked into our little hidey-hole, away from the rest of the world.

And now here's hoping this entry doesn't get clipped again. I wish you all the best for 2013, flist!
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Noel nutella)
Today is the first day of my four-day weekend of cleaning and dissertating. I slept for eleven hours last night and had some strikingly vivid dreams this morning. [livejournal.com profile] fiendish_thingy even appeared in one of them to my delight and surprise. I almost never dream of friends as they actually are. We sat on a couch in the lobby of Gallifrey talking. No idea why. But it felt good to allow my brain the opportunity for extended REM-sleep.

I ate toast with nutella this morning, and herded the laundry previously scattered to the four corners of my flat-world, feeding on dust bunnies.

Then I took this quiz, what I saw on [livejournal.com profile] droxy's LJ and it's very amusing. Not least of all because since I don't believe in Dante's version of Christian Hell, the results make me think "well, I would be afraid if I believed it..." A tautology of a meme outcome if ever there was one.

The Dante's Inferno Test )


And since we're on the topic of gluttony/indulgence, I really want to buy this cape from TopShop. It's the brown piping that draws me in. Some of you will understand. cut for very large photos )


I took a long shower and contemplated the outline for my dissertation chapters. Clumps of ideas, with a better idea than before regarding what might be missing or need further exploration and developing bubbled up to the surface. Cells splitting into an organism. The creative process is embryonic. But it's also like connective tissue sometimes.

Finally, LJ comments and PMs seem to be randomly delivered to my inbox or swallowed up by my spam folder. So if it seems like I respond to some things in longer than usual time, that's why.
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Noelian Heights animated)
I'm learning how to make icons. I thought I'd share my little experiments with you. If you have ideas, let me know. And suggestions of where else to post them are welcome (I've only x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] noelfielding and [livejournal.com profile] _booshmedia). Special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lanitha for her help!

Please let me know if you grab any, and credit me "icon by [livejournal.com profile] gina_r_snape "

Still Icons )


Animated Icons )

What a day

Mar. 16th, 2011 02:34 pm
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Show off my cape)
Thanks to everyone who sent words of encouragement yesterday! It was a very long day, and I was falling down tired by the end of it. By the time I got home, I looked something like this



However, the day itself was pretty good. After a 3 hour drive, the Homeless Services United organizer gathered us all in a room - 70 people came to lobby! We were split into groups and assigned different elected officials to meet with. My team met with Jose Peralta's Legislative Fellow, who seemed very interested in some of our talking points. Unfortunately, our afternoon meeting was canceled as the finance committee held a previously unscheduled meeting in the senate chamber. But we dropped off materials and went our way home. I feel our day was productive, but you never know until the final budget has passed. I really enjoy lobbying as it employs some of my best features - being able to provide concise information, tailored to the listener, with a compelling message, and I get to wear a suit and tie.

If you are interested in the issues want talking points, let me know and I'll be happy to elaborate. Larger versions of all the photos (including ones I did not post) can be found here

Here's a few pics of me and my team )


I also got the chance to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] prof_pangaea at lunchtime, who popped down to meet me for lunch. I am still laughing at one thing he said - that he can't look at my face without hearing "Wuthering Heights" in his head. :dies: Ever the perfect gentleman, after finishing our sandwiches he walked me back to the Capitol building. Alas, we did not take a picture together, but I will leave you with this picture of me in a cape! When [livejournal.com profile] pomona513 and I met up Monday evening we popped into a secondhand shop and I found this little number for only $40. How could I resist? Now I definitely need to go buy those gold Chelsea Boots as they would go perfectly togethertogether )


Now I just want to go home and pass out!
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Default)
Woke up today with a back ache and what seem to be allergies. How can I possibly have allergies in the midst of a very snowy January? Perhaps there's mold somewhere.

I think my lower back ache comes from all the walking in the snow. I've had a busy week with a lot of walking. On Thursday I accompanied my friend LG to what might be called a "club kid party reunion" at a restaurant - essentially elements of an "old crowd" that used to hang out at the Aztek, Lizmar Lounge and Pyramid back in the early 90s. If these names make any sense to you, then you would have enjoyed it. Otherwise, don't even worry about it.

So it was interesting to see what happens to people. In terms of success stories, at least, the former Pyramid bartender (JF) is now a nurse practitioner off to spend six months with Médecins Sans Frontières. And the DJ we knew (BT) is now the club editor of Time Out New York as well as still a DJ around town and spins for East Village Radio.

I wasn't so close with these people that I felt moved to take pictures. But the husband of one of the women in attendance looked like Snape. So I snapped a picture, with JF in the foreground and "Snape" leaning in at the end of the table )


And here is JF with LG, who I've known for so long now it's a little bit unnerving )


On Friday my office finally had our long-delayed holiday party. So I got to spend Friday afternoon eating Chilean food and sipping sangria )


Then I dragged my drunken carcass trudged home through the snow and slush that's beyond ankle deep in my neighborhood and crashed on the couch for several hours.

So this morning I was meant to run a ton of errands and instead I cursed at the alarm and went back to sleep. Some days you just need to stop and rest, I suppose. The only thing running this morning is my nose.

Later I'm getting my hair done, though! It's going to be interesting to see how this works, as I have an idea in mind for my hair that involves the continued growing out of my hair in a shag haircut, but incorporating a blond fringe so I can wear my Rose wig to Gallifrey.

Tonight - gumbo party with the Jew Crew!

Right now, though, I think it's time for a strong cuppa rosy lee.

:waves at flist:
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Lucius Champagne (HP))
Well, 2011 is off to quite a start. Sorry it's taken me so long to post. Alas, my friends had cameras and I did not and they STILL have not come forth with photos. So the few I did manage to take with my iPhone have been light and exposure adjusted and you can aaaalmost make us out.

Since last year worked out so well, I went back to Alias restaurant again this year and it was LOADS OF FUN. The owner made funny hats for everyone and genuinely hand-picked them to suit individuals with amazing accuracy! [livejournal.com profile] pov_power was there, and so was [livejournal.com profile] soulsister101, and a string of others who are sadly LJ-less.

We toasted at midnight and there were hugs and kisses(!) and the DJ played "What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding" by Elvis Costello. At first I was a bit "Whuuuh?" because last year they played Lady GaGa and we all started dancing like maniacs. But then I decided this was an incredible sentiment and hopefully a good omen.

Here are some pics of the party-goers with goofy hats (I mean it when I say these pics are murky at best )


After dinner, most of the party left. But my dear dear friend JD and I did some party-hopping. Walking down Rivington St. we ran into some Australians and other nationals (including one guy born in Israel, raised in Edinburgh who now lives in London) standing outside of Essex who were super fun. They had an extra wristband for their party (they paid $150 for open bar!!!) so we got in for free and got free drinks. I tipped heavily.

Then JD and I decided to bar-hop. We walked in and out of a lot of places I never hang go to. It made me feel like I was getting to know another side of my neighborhood. Walking through doors to find cavernous entrances beyond storefront facades, I felt like it was something out of a dreamscape. We also said goodbye to the LES standard Max Fish, which is slated to close soon. You can see us a bit better in these photos )


We then wandered into a bar I could not resist simply for the fact there were lightening bolts on the door )


Finally, we finished off back at the Essex with the nationals who got us in for free. We danced and drank and laughed and it felt GREAT.

JD and I then came back to my place, listened to some mellower music (Tame Impala and Au Revoire Simone) and caught up on life. He lives in LA and I get to see him so rarely. He left around 4am and I slept well. :)

On Sunday [livejournal.com profile] drfardook and I met up with [livejournal.com profile] vraidaae, [livejournal.com profile] erratic0101 and a few others for some HP COSplay in Central Park )


Then [livejournal.com profile] drfardook and I were off for vegetarian dim sum and a bit of shopping (tea! sweets!). Finally, I tore myself away from him to fly over to the DWNY meet where the Podshock guys jovially took the piss out of me (don't worry, I gave as good as I got); plus [livejournal.com profile] tennis_bear and I chatted about life and love and pr0nny fanfic. I couldn't have asked for a better day after such a wonderful new years.

How was yours, my darling flistees?
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Boosh Tundra)
So, surely you are all aware that NYC experience a snowicane? That's right, a blizzard of snow AND a hurricane complete with thunder, lightening and 60+ mile and hour winds. The snow lasted many, many hours and it's still quite blustery today. My family dinner was cancelled, which led to its own kind of family $hitstorm. But I shall spare you the details.

Here are a few shots I took of the NYC frozen tundraaaa )


And today I learned some people were stuck on the A train in Queens FOR SEVEN HOURS last night. :shudder:

Before the storm, I got to hang out with the Jew Crew two days in a row! Friday night dinner was exquisite, and Saturday we saw The King's Speech which left me misty and speechless. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Bellatrix LeStrange Helena Bonham Carter were flawless. As a period piece, they truly invoked the feel of pre-WWI Britain in sight, sound, affect and emotion. There's nothing I can criticize in terms of costuming, set design, music, special effects, lighting, camera work, props, really it was a moving piece of cinematography and I urge you all to go see it. They even included historic footage of the Coronation of King George V for George VI and the Arch Bishop to watch in preparation. Colin Firth's stammer (and George VI's accent) were flawless to my ears. I took the time to hunt down a recording of the actual pre-War speech and surely he must have spent some time relistening to it. And the relationship between the two men felt real. The pressure upon the King to take the throne and assume his duties was palpable. And the film provided realistic depth about stuttering, as this article attests. Ok, so much for my film review.

On the way home from the cinema, I saw this plastic hanger in the station. Anyone have an idea how someone could have gotten it up there without a wand or a broom??? )


As you might recall, I also went to the Hotsy Totsy Burlesque show with [livejournal.com profile] erratic0101. Here are a few shots of the show. Alas, most of them came out too blurry in a dark theatre. But I give you what photos did come out )

It seemed to me the only fan of the series was the guy who played Ron,and the best of the show was actually his stand-up routine. Hotsy Totsy Burlesque seem like a fun group, but still rather amateur as of yet. They had a Luna, but she had brown hair and wore a Gryffindor robe, so, um, NO. Femme!Harry was great. She favored [livejournal.com profile] pennswoods a little bit in appearance, I thought. The most interesting of all the strip performances was actually the dementor. I thought that was a clever and sensual idea to strip down from a black cloak to a silver body suit.

Anyway, it's time for me to head home in the snow. I'm leaving early as I don't want to walk out there in the dark. Hope you all had a good holiday weekend.
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Jon Stewart Ravin')
I just finished grading my exams and submitted final grades for my class. Regarding the exam - 2 students failed the final (but one came up to me and admitted she blanked under pressure). 2 C+ grades; 1 C, the rest B or better. Out of 29, I'd say that's pretty darn good.

I'm waiting on one student who got an incomplete. Otherwise, I'M DONE FOR THE SEMESTER. No more teaching until September!

Pardon me while I celebrate with a few appropriate gifs



Tomorrow night I'll be celebrating by attending Hotsy Totsy Burlesque's Harry Potter and the Boobies of Fire. (I am even getting in for free!)

And then, finally, I will have time to finish my Boosh fic! And celebrate the holidays! And then work on my dissertation!

:flaily Kermit arms:
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Poncho (Mighty Boosh))
Is it a weekend if you go away Sunday and Monday? Well, after two weeks of covering for my boss I need a week of Gina time. [livejournal.com profile] pov_power came over Friday for dinner and it was the perfect way for me to start my little holiday. We had those leek and onion pasties I made over the summer, salad, and [livejournal.com profile] bluestocking79's delightful brussels sprout recipe. The pictures are not that impressive, but I assure you the brussels sprouts were melt-in-your-mouth heavenly. Pictures and recipe:

Leek and onion pasty with salad )


Roasted brussels sprouts with shallots and wild mushroom in a white wine cream sauce )


Recipe can be found here.

On Saturday I putzed around, did some dishes, relaxed. But on Sunday [livejournal.com profile] drfardook and I took a little trip to Philadelphia where we stayed overnight at a very odd hotel. Nothing in the room matched - except for two identical wall decorations. And it had a kitchen (including dishwasher! actual pots and dishes!) larger than mine. I imagine people who stay there go for weeks on end, not overnight.

Anyway, on Sunday we went to the Mütter Museum and looked at all manner of creepy things. My brain, ever loving to amuse itself, started playing "Inside of You" in my head. As for the museum, I was struck most by the 8ft colon, depictions of various skin diseases, the human skin leather-bound books (considered an apt way to memorialize someone at the turn of the last century) and the rows of skulls with causes of death including "suicide from weariness of life." Have you ever heard a description more Victorian? Photography was not allowed inside the museum, but [livejournal.com profile] drfardook did take a picture of me on the oversized couch in the atrium where I felt like a Gashlycrumb Tinie awaiting my doom )


(Also, I was approached no less than six times by people asking about or complimenting me on my kitty hat during our trip).

I also toyed with buying a small phial of Ü, the museum's signature fragrance by BPAL. With aromas of frankincense, vanilla and cinnamon on my wrists (and lingering on my sweater well into the next day), I kept declaring it smelled like death and breakfast. Intellectually compelling, but I remain ambivalent about its aroma as a sensual pleasure.

We ate at two places, one the Monk's Cafe where mussels in leek and garlic broth were devoured with glee accompanied by the smallest pommes frites I've ever seen in my life, and a selection of Belgian beers. We liked the place so much we went back the next day for more Belgian brew. The other was a little hole-in-the-wall that served vegan and vegetarian versions of the kind of food Philadelphian University students devour after a night of cramming and/or stumbling out of a bar at 3am. I got a vegetarian Philly cheese steak which was just ok, but looked rather nice )


Looking for a night's entertainment, he googled a dive bar in the area. I was not pleased that they had on a football game instead of music, so I asked a guy at the bar if he knew a better place to go. Turned out his name was Luke and he's in a band from NYC called The Runaway Suns. They were playing across the street at a dive called Tritone and were actually pretty good! We took his advice and stayed to watch a couple of bands, which really hit a spot needing hitting. Their sound was part garage band, part psychedelic, part sixties pop. I could definitely see myself checking them out again )


On the way back to the hotel I was somehow struck by this view, my only shot of an actual Philadelphia monument )


On Sunday, we went to the Franklin Institute, which neither of us realized was geared toward 8 to 12 year olds. We didn't want to spend $26.50 each on the Cleopatra exhibit. So we just wandered about the main museum (as an educator I gained free entry). I had crazy flashbacks to my childhood because my father took me there as a child and I vividly recalled the walk-through heart and the steam engine. We played with the displays in the electricity room, where I learned a valuable lesson about taking off scarves with metallic threads before touching anything focusing on static electricity. I also played with the pulse detector where I learned that if I think about studying, my heart rate shoots up; but if I think about the Mighty Boosh I completely flatline. LOL I question the reliability of the machine. Oh, and we watched a video in the Planetarium about black holes, which made me think of John Crichton until Liam Neeson (the narrator) sternly advised us that wormholes would be too dangerous a place to navigate for space travel. Party pooper.

Across the street from the museum were a string of now-defunct parking meters covered in cosies )


Afterward, we walked a mile in the cold to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and discovered IT WAS CLOSED. Aaaargh! The walk in the cold wore me out, so we waited for the bus. Growing impatient, and my blood sugars dropping, I suggested we find a cafe instead. I jokingly said "I bet you the bus will come rolling down that hill the second we've crossed the street (it was something of a highway)". And sure enough, it did exactly that. But we wandered into a small cafe where we were warmly greeted with tea, OJ, and a discussion with the worker behind the bar (named Mika) and two patrons about relationships. This was a sweet little surprise as we sat convivially and compared notes about cheating, time, expectation, and so on. At one point a sushi salesman walked in (the cafe used to be a sushi place) and offered Mika a calendar. Mika asked if he was selling calendars, and this set off in me the idea of a door-to-door sushi calendar salesman. I think it will have to wind up in a story at some point for the sheer absurdity of it. Then one of the guys (Tyler) offered us a ride back into the center of town in his VW bus, where he told us his theory of Faery and Elfin myths being comparable to Native American lore. Now, normally I would not get into a van with a stranger. But seeing as how I was not alone, and the day felt more and more like an unraveling adventure, we rolled with it and everything came up roses. It was just one of those days where you feel like you have wings on your feet. Know what I mean?

[livejournal.com profile] drfardook and I ended the day by splitting some fried mac n' cheese and a fried oyster po'boy at a stall in the Reading Market called Beck's Cajun Cafe, a couple more beers at Monk's Cafe, and then back on the train to NYC. I taught him that memory car game "I'm packing a picnic basket" where you go down the alphabet and name things, repeating each prior item on your turn. We chose to load up an iPod instead and came up with band names. First just bands, then he came up with the idea for a second round with only bands who play terrible music. I could not have been more entertained.

Now I'm home and it's a blustery 21F (-6C). I was meant to meet up with a friend for lunch and statistics consultation. But instead I've opted to hibernate and avoid the cold and blinding whiteness of the tundra smattering of snowflakes.

I leave you with this picture I took in the doctoral lounge the other week. I had to laugh when I saw my jacket and accoutrement in juxtaposition to the others )



Phew. Well, I hope you enjoyed the regaling of my trip as much as I enjoyed having it.
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Poncho (Mighty Boosh))
So this was a delightful weekend. Let me tell you aaall about it.

First of all, I was meant to have dinner with [livejournal.com profile] tigermind Friday night, but her plane was delayed so instead I went home and relaxed. This was much needed, so YAY. Then on Saturday we met up, walked around, ate, chatted, and then her father offered to buy me a ticket to see La Cage Aux Folles! And her parents treated us to cocktails! This was a total WIN/WIN as her parents are fun, delightful people and there's no way I could have afforded a ticket on my own. And of course, the apple did not fall far from the tree as [livejournal.com profile] tigermind is pretty awesome too. The play was fun, though I did get teary a few times as a disturbing number of thoughts whizzed through my head. It's definitely both a product of its time (1970s) and upsettingly contemporary in regards to what has NOT changed in 40 years. Kelsey Grammer was a good lead, and the set, costumes, choreography and performances were all wonderful.

Then on Saturday night I met up with A&M of the Jew Crew at Eately, where we ate at "Le Verdure" the vegetable restaurant in the complex, followed by dessert at one of the dessert stands. (I'm a little surprised the place doesn't seem to have a website of it's own). It was packed, and delicious. The staff were so friendly, helpful, cheerful and patient it was almost uncomfortable. :-P Everything we ate was excellent - without exaggeration. I took some pictures for you )


Then on Sunday I had [livejournal.com profile] soulsister101 and [livejournal.com profile] elrina753 over for our Booshfest. I did not take any pictures, but we had an obscene amount of British sweets, crisps, and other assorted goodies. We sang the Soup Crimp, came to a consensus that Noel Fielding has ridiculously gorgeous legs, discussed Noel's interest in Howince slash, and I learned that [livejournal.com profile] soulsister101 is a skilled strawberry bootlace braider. Aaaand I conspired with [livejournal.com profile] elrina753 to co-write a Boosh/Doctor Who crossover fic. Probably a ficlet, though the wheels are a turnin' so stay tuned.

I've started uploading a backlog of photos from Portland, the rally in DC, and my kitchen. So watch this space for more picspam. But I will leave you with a picture of Calliope, competing with my laptop for use of my leg )
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (eggplant)
This is a reproduction of my food blog entry.

Here are two sides that I, as a vegetarian, prefer to boost up to center stage as they contain some protein. Quinoa in particular is a grain with a very high protein content. Every vegetable in these two recipes (except for the garlic) has been a part of our CSA this season.

Do you remember the epazote we got way back in the beginning? Well with any luck, you might have dried it like I did after having used a few fresh leaves.

Quinoa Pilaf )


Pasta Salad )
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Default)
I have a flickr account. I have woefully neglected it. But in the past two days I took photos of things I found particularly striking. So I share with you a study in colors:

Brown - I found the decay visually appealing - shoes, rusty old fan and the edge of a skip )


Orange - Tomatoes from my CSA today )


Black - I saw this sign sticking out of some bin bags on my street and thought How utterly gothic. Black-on-black. Perhaps we need the goth detectives to find out what in those bags we should be wary of )


Oh, and my CSA pickup this week includes:

Swiss Chard
Basil
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Orange Tomatoes
Green Bell Peppers
Green Chile Peppers
Poblano Peppers
Bosc Pears
Macintosh Apples
Nectarines
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (I am smiling (Snape))
So yesterday I had a meeting in the afternoon with the city to discuss homelessness trends (numbers) and new procedures. These meetings usually involve Directors and Assistant Directors, in clusters, of about 30 - 40 people. These are "small" directors meetings.

One of the interests of the new Commissioner is getting clients back to work as a means of getting them out of homelessness. It's not a great primary approach for a variety of reasons (first being high unemployment in the city, second cost of housing in relation to earning potential for many of these clients, third a variety of individual factors on top of those structural factors, etc). But with the loss of HUD funding, they are desperately trying to figure out new ways of approaching an old problem. After years of decline in the census, we are experiencing renewed heightened numbers of people entering the shelter system for the first time, there are worries about recidivism rates, and length of stay in shelter is increasing. The census is up to approximately 7000 individuals (on the singles side - this does not include homeless families) where we were under 5000 just a couple of years ago and if I remember correctly, about 6000 this time last year.

Normally, these meeting also include official lambasting of shelters for not doing our jobs. Because, you know, it's OUR fault there are so many homeless people. But I think it's finally sunk in that the picture is BIG and it's ugly. They have instituted a system of ranking shelters, and I've overheard the ASSistant Commissioner say he thinks of it like a high stakes card game. Put us in competition with one another and those who don't meet their targets lose money, while those who do well get extra money. But just like going to the casino, the odds are heavily stacked against us. Quotas are set so unrealistically high and housing opportunities are so drastically reduced with the loss of Federal funds that they've basically guaranteed savings to the city when we don't meet up to these unrealistic expectations.

So, you can probably understand the sheer amount of inner rage that builds up in this otherwise generally placid, cheerful Taurus.

But yesterday, someone asked about initiatives for sex offenders. And one of the city representatives said "We are looking at getting them jobs as grave diggers."

For the rest of the meeting, all I could think about with suppressed giggles, was the sit-com like exchange that could take place around the common question "So tell me about yourself."

Anyway, the meeting ended early (hurray!) and I rang up my salon to see if my hairdresser could fit me in. It so happens he could, AND they had a deal for a free cut if you get highlights or color. So I got highlights (which I was planning to do anyway). Alas, my DNA is such that it takes a lot of work to lift my hair into reds. So some of the highlights didn't quite take. I went to Ricky's after dinner with a friend and picked up some Manic Panic. You can't quite see the color differences in these pics, but I'll post them anyway. My boss thinks I look like a tortie. :D

Before the extra dye (at home last night. I foolishly thought to take pics after the makeup was off)Read more... )


After the extra dye (in my office this morning)Read more... )


This weekend is the Jazz Age Lawn Party, DWNY video meet, and attention to some things that have been occupying my mind. But right now, I've literally just gotten a directive from the Assistant Commissioner to find five clients who aren't complying with housing search efforts. They want each shelter to come up with people to eject because there isn't enough room in the system for everyone who needs a bed.

FML, y'all. I feel like the devil's handmaiden today.
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Default)
Pear poached in port wine, with vanilla bean ice cream. Neither pic is great, but which one looks better? )
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Annoyed (Gabrielle))
Work has turned into a 2-day $hitstorm. After listening to my boss tell me all her problems yesterday (she's apparently 40 going on 20), we had several clients blow up over nonsense. One of them literally screamed at the staff because we confiscated kool-aid from his room.

This morning I came in to discover my boss decided to take a four-day vacation, alerting us all by leaving a note in the communal logbook. And she didn't leave me any checks or Metrocards for clients.

So if anyone needs money or transportation, they are S.O.L. because in the 7 years I've worked here it's never been a convenient time to get my signature onto the bank account, because our Executive Director is too busy to come down here with the little people to approve me. (That didn't stop her from calling me yesterday and asking for scans of menus ASAP because she has an insane idea for a grant proposal). And of course, we have a client who has decided to move back to Florida and needs her money TODAY, and my boss won't come in to sign a $#@!% check.

Yes, I am annoyed as hell.

However, last night I had a lovely time celebrating a certain f-listee's birthday (whose company is always a gift). We saw belly dancers! And drank sake. I took videos.



and



and the birthday boy doing what he does best )


I also made it to the tail end of the DWNY meet, where there was much discussion of COSplay, John Barrowman, celebrity crushes, my uh happy dream about Noel Fielding, and of all things . . . David Bowie's "vacation package". (You can blame [livejournal.com profile] soulsister101 for that! Though it seems [livejournal.com profile] elrina753 recently discovered Nostalgia Girl).

Considering how many similar types of conversations I've had lately, is something in the air? :o)
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Default)
You want Snape? Oh, have I got some Snape for you. Be prepared for Snape to punish your bandwidth with The Snapiest Post There Ever Was  )


and the one shot I've not seen anywhere else . . . my prize shot . . . You just might recognize the property of the Half Blood Prince )
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Purr cartoon)
We have nature in nyc, or the resemblance thereof.

This week's CSA haul included:

*yellow grape tomatoes
*2 types of lettuces
*carrots
*broccoli
*eggplant
*pears
*apples

and basil so fragrant people stopped me on the street to remark upon its scent. Basil so fragrant, even a city bee came by to show it some love



Other resemblances of nature I've traversed at the weekend:

Wild Grasses on the High Line )


Which apparently included wild life )


And the grounds of the MoMA as seen from the 5th floor restaurant balcony. It was a lush, rainy summer )

Food

Aug. 6th, 2010 09:04 pm
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Default)
Behold - the most ridiculous thing I have eaten all week.



That's fried green tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and soy bacon on a skillet-toasted homemade roll topped with kosher salt, sesame and poppy seeds. The only thing that wasn't fried in ghee was the basil. I may be tempted to add mayo next time.

Other ridiculous things I have eaten of late:

A cupcake with Snape's nose )


Snapecast's Own Chardonarry, Blood Red Elf-made Wine from Spinners End and Malfoy Merlot (I went a bit nutty making wine labels for the [livejournal.com profile] snapecast meetup) )


Ice cream from Florean Fortescue )


Cauldron cakes and Chocolate Frogs from Honeydukes )


and Butterbeer at the Hog's Head Inn )


[livejournal.com profile] fiendish_thingy Snape might suspect Hermione drank polyjuice concocted from his potions stores . . .  )


but I'll just don an innocent smile and neither confirm nor deny . . .  )


Not even Lucious Malfoy could get that out of me, in fact )


Oh, and I may or may not have been joined by [livejournal.com profile] pennswoods for a burger in paradise at some point )


Sorry if this entry made you hungry.
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (pie and peas)
Tonight I have been busy preparing a fish fume. This is why I am not able to upload, sort, and post my pics from Infinitus.

Why are you doing that? you might ask.

My SiL gave me the Le Bernardin Cookbook for my birthday and when I thanked her she said, "Now you have to invite us over for dinner and cook something from it!"

They opted for the salmon in lemon sauce with zucchini.

So I'm making a fish fume 2 days early, prepping for dinner.

Apparently my nephew is so excited about coming over he's counting down the days on his calendar. Isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever heard?! I'll remind you, dear readers, that my other brother and SiL have never set foot inside my home in 16 years. Neither have their two children, one of whom lived 16 blocks from me last year while finishing up his BA degree at NYU. A study in contrasts, indeed.

In other news, I neglected to mention my CSA haul for the week:
Kale
Eggplants
Kirby cucumbers
Purslane
Basil
Lebanese Squash
Corn
Peaches
Plums
Nectarines

I swapped the kale for extra corn and squash. And last night I finally got round to cooking up those leeks. Instead of a leek and potato soup (yaaawn), I made leek tarts. [livejournal.com profile] drfardook was my willing guinea pig kitchen elf, assisting with the phyllo dough as I tried out this recipe for the first time.

Which picture do you like best? )


A week ago today I was dressed as Luna. How was that a week?!
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