MOMA fashion police

The recently re-opened Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) is overwhelming. Not only is the place filled with sculpture, photos, drawings, paintings, and film, it’s filled with people. Lots and lots of people. Many of them are wearing questionable clothing. Is it art?

Exhibits A and B: a protest against the traditional repression of undergarments?

moma fashion faux pasmoma fashion faux pas

Friday afternoon at the Doubletree (BizTech@Wharton)

Friday afternoon at the Doubletree (BizTech@Wharton)

The time is now. Goodbye, Philly!

game time!

2008 Phillies victory (Memphis Taproom)

In less than two weeks, after years of discussion, Type E and I are moving away from Philadelphia.

Yes, it’s a terrible time to leave good jobs and find new ones, and it’s not the best time to sell a house. We have no friends or family in our new town. But the time is now.

I truly and deeply love Philly. However, for many reasons—some related to the city, and some related to us—I know it’s not our forever home.

After spending the last month of Moon Pappy’s life in Lititz with my family, I witnessed the importance of community and the forever home. I saw the same thing again in Galloway, NJ after Nana died. The forever home is more than an investment, more than a five year plan. And community is so much more than acquaintances, loose connections, and professional networks.

After a lot of research (and a spreadsheet, of course), Type E and I decided to relocate to Northampton, Massachusetts. The Pioneer Valley has everything we could want from nature (rivers, lakes, trees, and mountains), and Northampton has most things we could want from a town (thriving retail, restaurants, theaters, and music venues).

Taking the leap without a bridge is hard, but the house, jobs, and other details fell into place after we committed to the change. Because why wait?

Thanks to Wharton Computing for 5 ½ years of opportunity. It’s a great place to work and a tough place to leave.

And goodbye to the Philadelphia characters and friends we’ve met over the years through blogs, neighborhood dramas, work, clubs,, and just wandering around this great city of ours. Walking away from you after 15 years is downright heartbreaking.

Continue reading “The time is now. Goodbye, Philly!”

Cheesesteak gate: politics as usual

cheese wiz
Having a weblog is great because you get to be a self-proclaimed expert on any topic. It’s all about being a micro journalist and fighting The Man. You better watch out, The Man, because there’s a bunch of people with laptops and broadband connections who are gonna bring you down.

I’m a uniter, not a divider, so I stay out of politics in this forum. Once in a while, however, a story comes along that I cannot ignore. The Cheesesteak Gate scandal broke late last week; the full synopsis is over at Eschaton.

It breaks down like this. Senator John Kerry visited Pat’s King of Steaks here in Philadelphia and ordered his cheesesteak with Swiss cheese. What is his staff thinking, letting him order a Pat’s cheesesteak with Swiss cheese? If Kerry wins the election, I hope he gets some better people working for him.

So then President Bush shows up in Philly and orders a Wiz with (translation: cheesesteak with Cheese Wiz and onions). Respectable.

However, Kathleen E. Carey from the The Daily Times found a source at Jim’s Place–an institution that has provided sustenance for the Bush entourage on previous campaign stop–who claims that President Bush actually prefers his cheesesteak without Wiz or provolone. Instead, he likes “cheese of the American variety.”

Oh, Mr. President. You say you’re one of us, eating processed cheese chemicals from industrial-sized cans, but it was all politics–an attempt to curry favor in a swing state. The next time you’re in Philly, stop by, and we’ll do a 3 AM Geno’s run in my ghetto car. Of course, Senator Kerry is welcome to come too. But for the love of God, don’t embarrass me by ordering some fancy highbrow cheese.

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

curse of the were-rabbit
Thumbs-ups to Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit! Shorter-running cartoons don’t always translate well to full-length features, but the Wallace and Gromit movie is a welcome exception.

The movie is Beauty and the Beast meets Inspector Gadget meets Godzilla, with a lot of bad puns and good music. The story begins with the townsfolk preparing for the upcoming annual Giant Vegetable Contest; everyone, including Gromit, dreams of winning the coveted Golden Carrot. However, there are pesky, veggie-gnawing bunnies who run rampant, threatening to eat the produce and spoil the fun. I won’t give away any more, except to mention that the movie ends with stinky cheese and fluffy bunnies, and what’s not to like about that?

For those unfamiliar with Wallace and Gromit and their previous adventures: Wallace is a homely, cheese-loving, nutty-professor-type Brit, and Gromit is his silent dog who likes to knit. Back in the nineties, this duo visited the moon to replenish their cheese supply, wrestled with a shady penguin and a pair of mechanical techno-trousers, and landed in the middle of a sheep-napping operation.

Links to Curse of the Were-Rabbit trailers are here.
The BBC has a Wallace and Gromit short film available for download.

Unusual lighting schemes

Last week’s All Wear Bowlers outing was my first visit to Old City’s Mum Puppettheatre. One of the best things about that space is the lights made of four-sided cheese graters. What a brilliant idea! The venue contains sconce lighting in the form of cheese graters attached to the walls; in addition, there are cheese graters hanging from the ceiling in both the lobby and the theater proper.

The graters’ holes cast eye-catching patterns and shadows on the walls of Mum Puppettheatre, and somehow the novelty of the lighting scheme sets the mood for something offbeat or creative to happen on the stage.

The cheese graters remind me of my favorite lights in Philadelphia, also located in Old City. Warren Muller is a local lighting sculptor who illuminates trash and found objects, with remarkable results (of course, this is the opinion of someone fascinated by giant typewriter erasers). One of my life goals is to own a Warren Muller piece.

You can see Muller’s work at bahdeebahdu, a showroom he runs in conjunction with interior designer RJ Thornburg. The gallery’s website has some terrific pictures of the light sculptures, but if you live in Philly, you should go down and see them for yourself.

If you can’t shell out thousands for a Muller piece, is selling some very nice cheese graters.

Soup exchange: I am woman, hear me blend

Listen up, all you wussified, Kitchen-Aid-lovin’ cooks out there. I am here to tell you about the Joy of Soup, old school style. I spent the better part of Sunday peeling and chopping six pounds of carrots. Chopping with a big-ass knife. Not putting into a food processor and pressing the button.

Yes, the big-ass knife method takes longer and is infinitely more dangerous (I still have scars from the sweet potato incident of ’02), but I like to think of unhurried food prep as extra “me” time. There’s nothing like spending a leisurely afternoon in your warm and cozy kitchen, especially on a chilly, overcast day: sipping a beer, listening to the weekend doo wap show, sniffing spices, searching frantically for the butterfly bandages.

And what’s that? Is a 747 landing on the deck? Nope, it’s my grandmother’s old Solid-State Osterizer Cyclomatic blender. This sucker weights in at about fifty pounds and is not for the faint of heart.

The end result of the peeling, chopping, and pureeing was a tasty curried carrot soup (it looks like baby food in the first picture because I hadn’t thinned it yet). And why such a massive quantity of soup? Because Sassy J came up with the brilliant idea of a soup exchange–six of us made soup, met at Sassy J’s place, and proceeded to sample and swap.

Starting from the back-left corner and going clockwise: squash/mung bean, potato leek, lentil, cream of asparagus, curried carrot, and curried apple. Not to brag or anything, but we rule.

Saturday afternoon in Oregon, PA (ice cream stop)

Saturday afternoon in Oregon, PA (ice cream stop)

Happy Father’s Day, Moon Pappy!

plaid family

plaid family

Push button for green light

corn crosswalk