Archive for the 'things' Category

let me talk about running for a minute

I’m just going to talk about running for a minute and then I’m going back to reading about justice and the environment and then some knitting and TV watching.

Running. I’m doing a lot of it these days as training ramps up for the Lake Placid Half-Marathon in June. This past Sunday we (that is, Team in Training Brooklyn) ran the Roosevelt Island 10K — that’s 2 loops of a silly sliver of land between Manhattan and Queens. It had all the things that go with racing: bib numbers and water station and chip timing and getting up at 6 on a weekend to ride the subway for an hour in order to run for an hour. Or an hour and one second as my official chip time recorded. And then the tram and the subway home.

Roosevelt Island 10K
(Here I am, running that race).

The thing about this race is that I ran fast. Faster that I’ve recorded before (and I keep pretty good, anal records about distance and time, in the same spreadsheet that I record the money I spend and coop shifts worked and for a time, metrocard swipes). Faster that I would have guessed I could have run for 6 consecutive miles. I think it’s half the race environment and the little bit of competitiveness I have in me (get past the woman in pink! she’s the worst!), and half that I probably spend more time standing and waiting for cars to pass that I can account for when I run in the neighbourhood.

But here I am now, excited about running fast. About clocking a time that I’m a little floored by. This doesn’t completely fit with my image of myself…but I’m getting there. After the first (and only other race) that I ran, in Philadelphia with Goliath, I was grumbly. It seemed ridiculous to get up early and drive to a place and then stand around and then run five and then drive home–I can leave the front door and run 5 miles and be home in less than an hour. But this Roosevelt Island race didn’t feel that silly; I don’t know what clicked. Maybe it’s having the team (see below)?

tnt on roosevelt island

One other thing is that it was wonderful to go to a part of the city that I had never been to. And to have Eleanor Friedberger in my head all day:

I felt that way too, about the Saturday morning run in Bay Ridge the other week. There’s this great waterfront path, that goes under the Verrazano Bridge that I didn’t know about.

bay ridge run
(Here’s my butt, headed under the bridge)

I certainly haven’t spent much time in Bay Ridge, and it was great to take more ownership of my adopted town by running on a new part of it. The start of the run was by the Owls Head water treatment facility, and so I had different Eleanor Friedberger stuck in my head that day.

I think that part is the most exciting to me: I know this place. I ran it. I used my own power to move my body through this place in the world. When Naomi and I were in the cab back from the airport after our trip to Puerto Rico, we were driving along Eastern Parkway towards my house, and as we passed Buffalo ave she asked where we were and I was like “This is my running route. I know where we are.”

in a place

Last summer my brilliant friend Sarah and I were musing about a strange turn of phrase: “I’m in a place where I can’t date right now” or “I’m in a place where I can’t go for coffee.” Where is this place? Sometimes the phrase is framed in the negative, “I’m not in place where it makes sense for me to see you,” but if you’re not in one place, you must be in another, right? So still, where are you? Where is this place?

We imagine this place to be an awesome fantasy park, full of dudes throwing baseballs around, hanging out with puppies, maybe there’s a hot dog vendor. There are definitely no girls allowed in this place, but it’s awesome, and the guys are having a good time and the appeal is apparent. Still, being in this place prevents them from being in a place where they can go for coffee or go on dates or make out or whatever.

So when dude says “I’m not in a place where I can date right now” what they’re not saying out loud is “BECAUSE I’M AT THE SECRET BOY AND PUPPY PARK!”

So what the awesome girls do, is they bike down to the place, on their 3-speed Schwinns with good stuff in their baskets. And they lay out a blanket and set out a picnic full of baguettes and brie and mason jars full of gin and tonic. Now this picnic spot is open-access, and the boys can totally see it from dude and puppy park, and maybe they’ll be tempted by the smart girls who planned for the day with all this rad stuff that the dudes didn’t think of. All they have are hot dogs and baseballs and maybe they’ll start to think that if they got out of the place then they too could have fancy cheese and picnic cocktails.

Sometimes Sarah and I think that the Place is the Red Hook Ballfields, but the food is too good there for this to make total sense.

Anyhow, welcome to spring everyone. It’s bikes and picnic season!

Here are some unrelated photos of dudes and puppies.

dudes and puppies
(photo by buzzchap)

(photo by thebigblackmariah)

dude and dog
(photo by unfocused mike)

Lady Gaga’s Telephone Hat

Okay, I know I’m late to get into Lady Gaga’s amazing clothes and such, but I’ve come around. And this telephone hat from the Telephone video is so awesome.
my phone is my hat!

Bluegrass Young Folks

(by Dawn Landes)


A lot of the things I look at regularly on the internet are about dresses. Some of it is about making dresses and some is unabashedly fashion. Yeah. I read fashion blogs!

Mostly it’s that journal articles are in black and white and badly photocopied and I need to look at pretty things every now and then, or I’ll wilt. It’s like the poster or print up on the wall at Kat’s house, “girls need cute things or they’ll DIE.”

mociun tie-frontDresess like this one! (which is from mociun) And Built By Wendy stuff. And all the vintage patterns over at A Dress A Day. I have a few patterns and some washed and pressed fabric that’s meant to be magically transformed into dresses, but I’m not actually working on that at the moment.

I will say, though, that I am bored bored bored of all the Japanese dress books and the adoration of them on many of the dress and craft blogs. The dresses are all so shapeless and boring (and no doubt would look terrible on anyone with boobs), and the books all seem so samey-same, with models standing in front of white or grey-ish walls, holding on to some inane object. It’s better than the overcutseyness of the amigurumi japanese craft stuff that I’ve never been a fan of, but I have no desire to look at any more shifts or tunics. Urgh.

For those of you that love the japanese dresses (or just don’t know what I’m talking about), Karyn has a quite a collection of them that you can see here.

season finale

In the opening scene of the season finale of Mad Men last night, Betty Draper goes to visit Roger Sterling in a freshly mowed hay field wearing a huge white wedding dress and gets shot in the head with a rifle by an off-screen Jane. She was aiming for Roger, but the first bullet missed and he hit the deck like a good soldier. As the second bullet entered the back of Betty’s head, the camera swung around 180-degrees in a Matrix-like way and we see the bullet exit her neck about two inches below the ear. A ray of light shines through the hole as the bullet exits, as if Betty is made of pure light. (not really)

But seriously, folks, it was a good episode, no?

obligatory feet shots

At Anna’s wedding, there was a moment when Anna and Leah and I posed together for some professional photographs. The only one I’ve seen of those (maybe the only one there is?) is of our feet:
our feet

I also came home with this shot of my family’s feet at the wedding:
kornfeld family feet
(I switched shoes at some point, from the yellow heels to the blue flats.)

I love these feet photos (and the ones up on the blog header)! I don’t really know why, though! Maybe because they are self-portraits I can take without too much trouble, and they often really do capture the place and event…

Street Plants on Franklin Ave.

As a counterpoint to the cranky, here’s something wonderful I found on Franklin Avenue: Street Plans with a gate made from pieces of an air conditioner.
street plants

and then we all held hands, and no one was afraid

I’ve always liked this song:

Even cats going to grad school can’t spell worth a damn.

grad school ozzy

apples and making things

A few weeks ago when I was up visiting Anna at the farm, we went to a cider party nearby. People brought boxes of apples and milled them and pressed them using the massive cider press. We hung out outside for hours eating food (cider doughnuts!) and drinking the sweet apple cider (different from juice in that it’s not filtered).

The cider press looks like this:
you really turn my crank

The amazing amount of apples:
no doctors here!

And then I got home, and glanced at the calendar hanging up in my kitchen, and it made me smile:
nikki mcclure october 08

I was not sad to switch the calendar to November (or have Emily switch it); it’s just as beautiful.


“Squealed” sure is a funny looking word.


I’m sick of you taking these contexts out of context!

This is a real course in the Sociology department, but it totally seems like a joke:

SOCI G9080 - Contextualization of Contexts
3 pts. Prerequisites: None. Structure embeds with process and events with networks among observings and signalings, as variously perceived and constituted in levels and extensions. The central issue is contextualizing contexts wherein social is interdigitated with cultural, narrative with situational.

These subject lines look good together

computers and typewriters

sweet subway story

This is a super-lovely NYT illustrated story about the author’s children, who love the New York City subway.

The illustration above goes with the line

Arthur spends hours studying the subway map. He laughs at his mother when she suggests taking the B on a weekend. The only questions he has are about the pronunciation of some station names.

Things I have given to people (lately)

Moving means giving things away!
giving things away
(click to make bigger)

Making Headlines

It totally drives me crazy when journalists–in print and on the radio–say that person/thing/event “made headlines.” As if they, the media, have nothing to do with what “makes headlines” and becomes part of the discourse.

Maybe they’re just giving a lot of respect to the late-night copy editors who actually make the headlines.

Following Instructions

I’m looking up scone recipes on the internet this morning, and they all suck. They all say things like “2 cups of bisquick” (bisquick? seriously? if was into using premade stuff I wouldn’t be looking up recipes!) or “spray pan with non-stick cooking spray” (that stuff is scary and gross!). Maybe it’s my own cooking up-bringing, raising myself on vegan cookbooks that all say things like “your choice of sweetener” to accommodate all the folks who don’t eat sugar/honey/agave nectar/whatever, but I want these recipes to say things like “do what you need to do to prevent these from sticking to the pan.”

If these recipes were in cookbooks, there’d be a whole intro section on nonstickage (or on sweeteners, or about substitutions, or whatever), and the recipes can refer you back to the what-cooking-is-all-about pages. But with the dumb internet, recipes are not part of a collection of anything, they’re one-offs. They’re hit singles with no album.

This makes me sort of sad–I feel like all these awesome skills, like the ability to curate or edit or collect or compile are slipping away. We get things totally disjointed and discrete.

I know that there are plenty of people curating all the stuff that’s on the internet–that’s what all those lovely blogs like CRAFT or Swissmiss or Kottke do. And I like them, but sometimes the endlessness of them feels tiresome. ESPECIALLY with the CRAFT blog–if anyone does anything crafty on the internet, it gets reposted there. And just as a link. It’s pointing: “look at this!” “look at that!” and most of it sucks. I know I shouldn’t get all righteous about something that is so clearly a promotional marketing tool for an overpriced magazine ($15 an issue!), but somehow it’s positioned itself at the head of the internet craft world.

Now I’m actually going to go make some scones.