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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Treasures uncovered while looking for the gesso:

  • A pack of a dozen 4×5-inch canvas panels, pre-primed, ready for painting.
  • A small desktop easel.
  • An old AOL bisk tin, filled with colored glass aquarium stones, of the type gamers use to track various game resources (hit points, Fate points, etc).
  • My copies of four games from Cheapass Games’ “Hip Pocket” series: Light Speed, Agora, Nexus, and Steam Tunnel.
  • The power supply for my old Belkin seven-port USB hub. I now have all of its pieces in one place! And no strong need of it.
  • My copy of Asterios Polyp, which I still haven’t read.

Treasure still to be found:

  • The gesso.
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Friday night, I went to my first NerdNYC Board Game Night. (I’d previously been to one Recess, back when it was held in Brooklyn.) Got there about 20 min after things started; it was pretty full, not much table space, the well-lit tables occupied by people playing long games. I found a few people setting up a game of Condottiere (did pretty well, but didn’t win), and after we finished that we played Guillotine (kicked everyone’s butts), and then I chatted with [livejournal.com profile] matt_rah for a bit, then went home. Next time I’ll make an effort to get there early and grab a good spot.

Saturday night, [livejournal.com profile] bugsybanana and I went out to see True Grit, the recent Coen brothers version. (Neither of us has seen the John Wayne version.) It’s got great dialog and great hats, just like you’d expect of a Coen bro’s movie.

Sunday we met up with Sumana (who I’d run into at a few geekish gatherings before, and wanted to get to know better) and her husband Leonard (who I’d never met before) for lunch. We chatted about books, comics, and insurance fraud, and stopped off at City Bakery for astonishing hot chocolate.

Monday looks like it may be as warm as 50°F, so I may actually leave the apartment for its own sake, rather than shopping or some other specific outside-oriented goal.

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.

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Remember last year, when my Linksys wifi router just suddenly stopped working for no discernible reason, and I went out and bought a Belkin wifi router as a replacement? Yesterday, the Belkin wifi router stopped working, for no discernible reason.

Unlike the Linksys (which turned itself off entirely), the Belkin still works as a router, but it no longer acts as a wifi hotspot. I’ve currently got net through an Ethernet cable plugged into the router. If we had a second cable to spare, [livejournal.com profile] bugsybanana could surf at the same time, but we don’t, so we’ve been switching back and forth with need. Just like old times!

And it’s 102°F (“feels like 107°”, WeatherDock tells me), so I don’t really feel like going outside right now. Maybe in two or three hours it’ll have cooled off back into the double digits. I do have to do some shopping, though. We’re almost out of bagels, and we need Brillo pads to clean off the pan I used last night to make pasta sauce. Here’s the sort of thing a lack of Brillo pads leads to:

Me: <looking in cabinet under sink> I don’t see any Brillo pads.
BB: They probably all rusted.
Me: Rust never sleeps.
BB: Colorless green ideas do that for it. But they aren’t happy about it.

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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.
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Me: Eleven degrees!
Chris: No shit, really?
Me: (checks WeatherDock more closely) Twenty-three; feels like eleven.
Chris: When I was twenty-three, I felt like eleven.

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Our apartment building has a recurrent problem with leaks. As one of my neighbors joked, leaks are how we meet each other.

Tonight we discovered a leak in our bedroom, and I went upstairs to tell the guy above us about it. Turned out his bedroom ceiling was leaking, too, so we both went up another level to some neighbor I hadn’t met before. I knocked on the door, and then again, louder. Between the knocks I could hear someone talking from inside: “If you roll a seven, you get to decide who the robber attacks.” So when the door opened I introduced myself with “Sorry to interrupt your Settlers of Catan game, but…”.


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.

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First foreshadowing: Yesterday, on the way to a NYRSF meeting, discovering that I neglected to put my current book (A Betrayal in Winter by Daniel Abraham) in my shoulder bag. I make do on the subway trip with a copy of The Onion from a sidewalk stand.

Second foreshadowing: Just a few minutes ago, realizing that actually A Betrayal in Winter has been sitting in the pocket of my cargo shorts, where a sketchbook usually rides, since Tuesday night.

I'm back

Aug. 17th, 2009 09:35 pm
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I have successfully raised my computer from the dead.

Seems it was just the hard drive. I swapped out the old, dead 100 GB drive for the 320 GB drive I had sitting around. There were a lot of screws involved, and I had to zip out to the hardware store at one point to get a better #00 Phillips-head screwdriver than the one I was using, but aside from that things went pretty well. Oh, and Migration Assistant bogged down while porting my Applications folder across, so I had to finish that up by hand.

So I’m back, with 200+ GB of free hard drive space that I don’t know what to do with.

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So I hauled my laptop to Tekserve (saving NYC Mac-owners' asses since 1987), and the helpful guy at the repairs counter was successful in getting my machine to boot off a network volume. He ran some diagnostic tools (fsck?) and concluded that my hard drive is horked. He was unable to figure out why I couldn't boot from an install DVD; that's apparently something that happens sometimes when a hard drive goes bad, or it may mean my DVD drive went bad too in a display of component solidarity. But it doesn't seem to be the logic board, which is what I'd been fearing.

This is actually good news! It just so happens that I've got this old replacement hard drive that I ordered last year when I started running low on drive space. When I saw how much of a pain in the ass it was to swap drives out in this model, I just deleted a bunch of unnecessary files instead, and wound up never installing it, but it's still sitting right here a few feet behind me.

It also just so happens that I've got a replacement DVD drive sitting in our study, as well. I ordered this three years back, after some books fell on my laptop and I thought my DVD drive was damaged. (Damn, there's some decent drawing on that page. I need to get back up to that skill level.)

Since I'm doing all my repairs myself, Tekserve didn't charge me anything for the twenty minutes or so of staff time I took up. (The Coke machine still isn't working, though.)

The next step is figuring out a way to print out the PDF I've got on my desktop (and therefore on my backup drive) that tells me how to open up my machine. Then, I need a large, clean, flat surface. There's a special tool -- something like a dental pick -- I'm supposed to use to disengage catches above the DVD slot, and nobody sells it, but I think I can improvise something out of a paper clip.
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Typing this from Chris's computer (Windows Vista, MSIE -- oh, the pain!) because my laptop is fucked.

Last night I was getting a barred circle on startup, an error message I'd never even heard of before, and I thought it was well and truly, deeply, permanently fucked, to the point of needing to buy a new one (which I can't even come close to affording right now), or at least a new motherboard (which I can't afford either). It was refusing to boot off a Leopard install disk.

This morning, after zapping the PRAM, I'm getting the question-mark-folder icon, which I at least recognize. I managed to get it to eject the Leopard disk, so I figure it's only moderately fucked, and I'm getting ready for another go at it. With any luck, a full hard drive wipe and reinstall, followed by restoring from my (fortunately recent) backup will put things right.

But I dunno. I've been fighting with this thing since Tuesday night. This isn't the first wipe-and-restore. So we'll see.

Update: Nope, it's hosed. Won't boot from the system install DVD. This will probably take a visit to an actual professional to even try and fix, and I just don't have the money to spare. Fuck. I don't suppose anyone's got a 15" PowerBook G4 that they were planning to throw out...?


Jun. 8th, 2009 01:14 am
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MoCCA Art Fest was this weekend, NYC’s top event for indie comics. I’ve been going every year since the first one, but I totally forgot to do a list like this last year.




This year was the first in the new venue, the 69th Regiment Armory on 26th and Lex, which has one big internal space, much more convenient than the three smaller spaces at the Puck Building (no link because their website has annoying automatic sound). A bit warm, though. Ran into, jeez, practically everybody, which highlights the superiority of one big space for socializing and networking.

Two or three different people asked me if I had done any comics lately, which has me pissed off at myself for having done practically no comics at all in like twenty years. I clearly in some way emit the aura of someone who ought to be making comics.


Dec. 29th, 2008 07:04 pm
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Was just seized by a sudden urge to do some weight-lifting. So, a workout writeup:

Exercise stuff )


Dec. 23rd, 2008 03:43 am
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Of course it's 3 AM when our ceiling starts leaking. Of course our upstairs neighbor isn't home. Of course the super isn't answering his cellphone.

April 2017



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