I voted

Nov. 6th, 2012 05:23 pm
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If I were living in Ohio or Florida, I’d have held my nose and voted for the war criminal. But I’m not! I’m living in New York, a state which is going to deliver its electoral votes to the Democratic Party candidate this year, no matter what I did at the voting booth. So I was free to vote my conscience, and did:

Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala, Green Party
US Senate:
Colia Clark, Green Party
US House of Representatives:
Yvette Clarke, who’s a Democrat, but I voted for her on the Working Families line, because NY supports fusion balloting.
Justices of the Supreme Court:
Cheryl Chambers, Barry Kamins, William Miller, all on the Democratic Party line. The only two alternatives, both on the Working Families line, were not approved by the NY Bar Association.
Judge of the Civil Court:
Craig Walker, Robin Garson, on the Democratic Party line.
State Senator:
Eric Adams, a Democrat, on the Working Families line. (I think. I might have messed this one up and voted him as a Democrat.)
Member of the Assembly:
Walter Mosley III, Democratic Party.

The polling place was pretty crowded. It took five or ten minutes for me to get my ballot, and then twenty minutes on line to submit my ballot once I’d filled it out.

We're fine

Oct. 30th, 2012 03:36 pm
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We’re in a second-floor apartment, over a hundred feet above sea level, so it wasn’t likely we’d see any flooding. There was some chance that we’d suffer the failure of some bit of urban infrastructure (power, water, etc) due to problems in the rest of the city, but things went pretty well. Lights flickered occasionally, but we never actually lost power. We lost our Internet connectivity for a minute or two, but it came right back. (That seems to have been neighborhood-wide. I saw a bunch of nearby people on Twitter making the same complaint around the same time.) Some (but not all) of the cable channels went out around 11:40 PM, but they’re back now.

The subways are still out, so I have no idea whether tomorrow’s NYRSF meeting will happen. The MTA says bus service will be partially restored later today, so Chris may be able to get to work tomorrow.

We are, however, out of bagels.

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My friend Sumana Harihareswara is working on a geeky standup comedy routine (“about project management, Linux, relationships, Agile, public transit, science fiction, and These Kids Today”), and needs an audience of science fiction and computer nerds in front of whom to practice it.

To that end, she’ll be performing for half an hour, starting at 7 PM, on Thursday, April 21st, at Seaburn Bookstore, 33-18 Broadway, in Astoria. Looks like it’s near the Broadway stop on the N/Q, and the Steinway stop on the M/R. I know a bunch of you live in or near Astoria, so heads up. Chris and I are going to be there. (I might also show at Pacific Standard on Friday, since I can walk there.)

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3 heads

ShopperSo, November since I’ve posted any sketches. Turns out that five months is long enough for my scanner to acquire a layer of dust thick enough that I have to blow it off before using it.

This is all stuff doodled in local coffee shops — Ozzie’s on Lincoln and Seventh, and Tea Lounge on Union.

No, wait, I just remembered: The three heads at the top of this post were drawn while I was sitting on a park bench on Plaza Street, opposite the Montauk Club.

Big stuff behind the cut )

King Con 2

Nov. 7th, 2010 07:56 pm
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This weekend was King Con, the $10 comics convention that I can walk to! I caught the awesome Kyle Baker interview on Saturday, followed by the phallotacular Bored to Death panel with Dean Haspiel, Jonathan Ames, and Jeff Newelt. Today’s highlight was a short sample of Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, with Paigey Pumphrey posing. Here are my sketches of the last two poses:

Pagey lying on her side

Another one behind the cut.... )

There’s a sketch of Pumphrey in last year’s King Con writeup as well.

PS 9

Oct. 19th, 2010 12:10 am
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This building in Prospect Heights used to be a public school, PS 9. Now it’s a condo. Across the street is a building that looks like a prison, which is currently a public school.

Watercolor of PS 9

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Yeah, looks like coloring over the grayscale markers (Faber-Castell Pitt brush markers) sucks the vibrancy out of the color. I managed to get some of it back by layering on color from the pan watercolors. But I think the best results will come from using the Inktense pencils for establishing the underlying tonal drawing.

parking in Park Slope
©2010 Avram Grumer

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Lincoln roosterThis isn’t all from today; some of these are months old.

I’ve been fiddling around with Derwent Inktense pencils and traditional pan watercolors, trying to get some rich color-mixing going on. It’s harder than I thought it’d be. Especially the (caucasian) flesh tones. Damn white people, such complicated skin!

All this stuff is ©2010 Avram Grumer.

Lots more behind the cut! )
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There’s this crazy sparrow, been bashing itself against our study window for the past few days. This is the fire escape window, so there’s a metal mesh inside, a clearly visible barrier even if the bird doesn’t see the glass there. But every day since Thursday, at some point in the afternoon, I can hear that sparrow knocking against that window.

Yesterday there was a pigeon strutting around outside on the air conditioner in our bedroom window.

Just moments ago I heard the sparrow at the study window again. There’s now a second sparrow out there, watching the first one.


Apr. 15th, 2010 10:16 pm
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Oh, right, MoCCA! I see, looking through old entries, that I neglected to write up 2008’s art fest. Which is annoying, because one of the reasons I do this is to help me keep track of what I buy, so I don’t wind up buying it again the next year. Grmph.

Anyway, this year I missed a day of MoCCA for the first time ever, to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] papersky, [livejournal.com profile] roadnotes, [livejournal.com profile] pnh, [livejournal.com profile] tnh, and [livejournal.com profile] bugsybanana at Green-Wood Cemetary, and then go see a stage adaptation of Dhalgren (joined by [livejournal.com profile] baldanders, [livejournal.com profile] stakebait, [livejournal.com profile] redbird, and [livejournal.com profile] cattitude). Patrick took photos, which will probably wind up on Flickr at some point.

That left Sunday for MoCCA. I got there around 2 PM, and soon ran into Sumana, who I followed around so that I could use her charm as a shield for my own general lack of social ability. (Seriously, [livejournal.com profile] kent_allard_jr tells me that I’ve got more social ability than a lot of our circle of friends, but next to people like Sumana and [livejournal.com profile] cadhla I feel like a bear who’s been shaved and toilet trained. And the shaving hasn’t really taken.) Also chatted a bit with Glenn, squeed a bit at Yuko Ota, and saw some cool animation at a panel. (I should probably make more effort to attend panels at future MoCCAs.)

On to the loot:


  • The Anthology Project, edited by Joy Ang and Nick Thornborrow, design and cover illo by Joy Ang. Were you aware that Holy-Crap-Gorgeous Full-Color Comics Anthology was a growing genre? Well, it is, and here’s another one.
  • Green Monk by Brandon Dayton. Also titled Зелёный Монах on the cover, but a quick skim doesn’t show me any Russian inside.
  • The 12 Labors of Gastrophobia, by David McGuire, collecting the webcomic of the same name. McGuire, as many cartoonists do, will draw sketches in the books people buy from him at cons. He asked me “Any requests?”, and (unable to decide which character is my favorite), I said “Sing ‘My Melancholy Baby’!” The result:
    crying baby
  • Awesome Stories, a portfolio anthology published by the School of Visual Arts cartooning department. I don’t remember the school being anywhere near this supportive of the cartooning majors when I was there. They were giving this book away free!
  • School of Visual Arts Portfolio 30, another freebie. Pieces from cartooning and illustration students graduating in 2009. The pages are perforated cardstock, so you can use them as postcards.


  • The Unwritten #1, first issue of a Vertigo comics series by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Another freebie, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered. I go to MoCCA for indie stuff, especially the stuff I can’t get in stores.
  • Static Fish #1, an anthology magazine published by the Pratt Comic Club. They also had a full color hardcover book, but that isn’t what I got.


  • Dead Winter #2, by S Dave Shabet. I thought I got #1 last year, but I don’t see it listed. Maybe it was the year before.
  • Billy the Dunce, by Jason Week. I also geeked out a bit with Week about inking. And I got a small print of one of his illustrations.
  • A whole bunch of stuff from Bob Stevenson, who had a great package deal for $10:
    • Journey into History #1 ashcan
    • The Recessionist Comics Review
    • Kenya
    • Pulped #1
    • HB Comics and Stories #1 and #2, which are so big I shouldn’t be listing them here under minis, especially #1, which has a glossy cover and ads in the back.
    • An illustration and a printed comic strip.


Nov. 8th, 2009 10:28 pm
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I heard about King-Con just a few days ago, through Becky Cloonan’s blog. A comics convention within walking distance of my apartment, how could I not go?

It was a small con, even smaller (I think) than the first MoCCA Art Festival, but the vendors managed to fill up the lower level of the Brooklyn Lyceum. The Act-I-Vate crew had a table, of course, since a lot of them have studio space in the area. I held back from buying a lot of stuff, since money’s tight, and I’ve still got books from MoCCA 2008 that I haven’t gotten around to reading. I limited myself to a (half-price!) copy of Joel Priddy’s new book, The Gift of the Magi.

One nice feature of the dealer space was a row of benches along one wall, which gave me a place to sit down, pull out my sketchbook, and do these:

King-Con sketches

That guy in the lower right? Neal Adams.


Sep. 7th, 2008 01:43 am
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I’ve been hankering for more gaming in my life, so when I heard that NerdNYC was having a gaming get-together within walking distance of my home, I couldn’t miss out. (Though I didn’t actually walk, since it was raining.)

I played one game of Jungle Speed, a tense twitch game that relies on fast pattern-recognition skills. I’ve played it before at GC. I came maddeningly close to winning at one point, then fell way behind.

Then I got into a couple of games of Incan Gold, a quick, simple game with a treasure-hunter theme (and step-pyramid art, though I don’t think the Incans were pyramid builders). Players explore a tunnels as a group, with each player having the opportunity, at the end of each turn, to either press on or return to camp. Returning secures your existing treasure, and might let you scoop up more on the way out, but bars you from further gains in that tunnel. Pressing on gives you the opportunity for further treasure, but risks losing it to a random hazard card. There’s a strong chicken aspect to the game. It supports up to eight players, and I think it’s better with larger groups.

For role-playing, I signed up for what is probably [livejournal.com profile] cadhla’s ideal dream game: The PCs were all Disney characters, living in Kingdom Hearts-style linked worlds, when the zombie apocalypse hit. ([livejournal.com profile] bugsybanana says that for it to be truly Cadhla’s perfect game, it would have to smell of pumpkin spice.) We started out holed up in Scrooge McDuck’s money pit, and wound up heading to the setting of Aladdin to get the genie’s lamp and end the plague. I played Huey Duck; the other PCs were Scar from The Lion King, Mulan and Mushu, Sally from The nightmare before Christmas, Clayton from Tarzan, and Gonzo from The Muppet Show.

The really odd thing about this game was the resolution mechanic, which involved pulling a piece from a Jenga tower to do anything dangerous or interesting. If the tower collapsed, your character died. This only happened once, near the end of the session, but for a good half the game the tower was really intimidatingly skeletal, and we all eyed it warily as we weighed our options.

It also occurred to me that you could use this mechanic for a really tasteless game in which the PCs are firemen trying to evacuate the WTC on 9/11.

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Did some sketching today at the Tea Lounge, which has become one of my regular hangouts. (The one on Union St, not the soon-to-be-closing 7th Ave branch.)

The guy on the left is Howard Bloom. I’ve no idea who the woman on the right is.

Sketches of two heads

Wow, it felt good to do that. It’s like a muscle in my neck has been tense, and now it’s relaxed.

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Woman's headI was digging through a box of still-not-unpacked art supplies, and I found that pocket-sized Winsor-Newton watercolor sketchbook I was so into a couple years back. Flipping through it, I found this doodle, which I apparently hadn’t bothered to scan. I probably drew it while still living in Jersey City.

This page, on the other hand, is from my hand•book sketchbook that I generally carry around with me nowadays. Both these were drawn at Prospect Perk, one of the very many coffee shops to be found in Brooklyn’s North Slope. The woman in the coat was done a few weeks ago; the ink drawing of the seated man a few days ago.

Big image cut to preserve your precious Friends-page layout )
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Yesterday I went up to Lisa and [livejournal.com profile] mnemex’s place in Sunnyside for Lisa’s RPG, CthulhuPunk+20. On the way out, I stopped off at the Grand Army Plaza farmers’ market and picked up some fresh strawberries...

More...  )

April 2017



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