post Mito

December 23rd, 2013

Filed under: mito,thoughts — nics @ 10:14 pm


My beloved Mito passed away a week ago today. I was just thinking today that I spent more time with her in the past 13 years than anyone. Missing the little monster terribly.

post I think I have a new hero!

March 24th, 2012

Filed under: check this out,thoughts — nics @ 4:30 pm

I visited the Seattle Public Library for the first time last summer. And it was the first time I have ever fallen in love with a building. If you have never been, GO! Even if libraries don’t excite you (which they should), GO!

I never took the time to research who the architect was when I got home but I happened upon a TED talk over my spring break about him. Joshua Prince-Ramus. Wow! The world needs more smart people like him. (Or better yet, the world simply needs to encourage more smart thinking.) And not just genius smart. But practical smart. Practical. Intelligent. Creative. All at the same time.

He says it better than I could, so just watch the TED talks here and here. And I love what he says in this interview.

post I caught a whiff of nostalgia in the air today…

November 5th, 2011

Filed under: thoughts — nics @ 4:43 pm

Today I thought I heard my phone ringing from the next room. And then I realized that, no, the ringtone I thought I heard was the ringtone from my last phone so there was no way it could be my phone ringing. Anyway… that’s what started this nostalgia upchuck.

Remember when you only had to dial 7 numbers to call a friend? And when you had to dial a 1 before dialing long distance? And a large storage of 7-digit and 10-digit numbers took up a significant amount of space in your brain?

My area code as a kid was 912. At some point during the collision between dialing 1 became no longer necessary but dialing the area code was, and push button cordless telephones became the norm, we had a phone that the 1 button would get stuck and repeat. So I had the constant fear the I would accidentally dial 911.

Remember when it was terribly disappointing when you happened to have access only to a rotary phone and couldn’t call up dial-a-story at your local library? Oh, and that episode of You Can’t Do That on Television where they ask the viewer questions and give you multiple choice answers, leading you to believe that you can touch the screen to pick your answer and they, in turn, changed the outcome of the show according to the results? I “knew” it wasn’t real, but you’d better believe I was up there touching the screen. Oh, and now, with the internet… I just spent 2 minutes of research to find that that episode aired in 1984, is episode 5.11, titled Technology, and you can watch it in its entirety on youtube here. I was probably at home watching this on TV in fourth grade either after school or during a stay at home sick day alone (yes, it was normal for a 9-year old to be at home alone then).

And this would be me circa 1984. With my brother. In my uniform. In my mom’s classroom. The year I had my mom as a teacher. And now you know much more about me than you ever needed to. Egads.

OK, now back to work.

post weekend

March 7th, 2011

Filed under: Baltimore,film,friends,music,thoughts — nics @ 1:26 am

It has been a fun and productive weekend.

I finally went to see The Illusionist. It’s not quite as epic as The Triplets of Belleville (that could be in part, though, because that was the first Sylvain Chomet film I ever saw which is a mind-blowing experience), but I loved it. Just the combination of Chomet’s animation and Jacques Tati and M. Hulot brought back to life makes me happy. I won’t say anything more, lest I spoil anyone’s experience.

I also went to the Future Islands / Celebration concert. The ambience was magical. 2640 is always great, plus the sweet smell of cotton candy grabbed me immediately as I entered (because they were making fluffy blue cotton candy – mmmm), the ceiling was hung with white balloon cotton cloud clusters, and projections of flying birds were everywhere. Future Islands was quite a treat to see live, as I had been told. Celebration was great as always, though it felt a little low key after Future Islands.

The funny amusing event of my weekend was that a girl approached me at the Celebration show and asked to take a photo of me for her fashion blog. Not that I think I’m some completely fashionless twit, but a hipster I am not. It did make me feel less old. Yay!

post 3 films in 3 days: my reviews

January 14th, 2011

Filed under: film,thoughts — nics @ 9:46 pm

To make up for lost time (being sick, lots of travel, x-mas/new year preparations…) Ben and I went the the theatre three days in a row last week. It was great. I should do this more often. Here’s what I thought.

Black Swan: F–
If I had to sum this movie up in one word it would be: boring. About midway through the film I remember thinking to myself I would be satisfied to leave then and there. The acting was fine and the cinematography was nice but the plot was practically nonexistent and the writing was awful. I couldn’t figure out if the “over the top” stereotypes and cliches were intentional and attempting humor or were… serious? Either way… it didn’t work. And I do like Darren Aronofsky so I was expecting at least a decent film. My advice to you: watch the trailer. It sums up the film, you can catch a glimpse of the pretty costumes, and there’s really not much else to it. But, then again, there seem to be a lot of people out there who disagree with me…

Tron: B
I found this film thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. The graphics were awesome, of course. The plot and the dialogue were nothing to write home about but it was fine. I prefer not to compare it to the original Tron because, to me, they are simply two very different things. But if I had to, I would say that it’s not as if the original Tron was an epic work of literature either. It’s hard not to enjoy Jeff Bridges in anything. He is definitely the dude in this film. (On a side note… the argument arose amongst my fellow movie-goers and myself of whether he was the dude in the original Tron even though the dude didn’t exist yet. What do you think?) As everyone else seems to be saying: great soundtrack. It was what I was expecting. No surprises. But it lived up to everything I thought it would be.

True Grit: B+
True Grit seemed a little more low key to me than most Coen brothers films. I found that to be a good thing because I like variety. While this probably won’t be my favorite Coen brothers film, it was well done and entertaining. As always, they completely immerse you in the story, setting, and characters. And… Jeff Bridges is not at all the dude in this one. In fact, I wasn’t thinking at all of the actors and who they were, only the characters (that’s always a sign of a good film). I confess I haven’t seen the original yet. I must soon!

*BONUS* Troll 2: A+
We even snuck in a Netflix film (available immediately for you Netflix users!) one night amongst these three days. Troll 2 is the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. If you haven’t seen it and you appreciate silly, campy (so campy it’s not even scary) horror, go watch it now! It’s about vegetarian goblins who want to turn people into bright green oozy sludge and then eat them (does that still qualify them as vegetarian? hmmm…). A special thank you to Ben’s friend Jeremy for turning us on to this one.

post many many children

September 23rd, 2010

Filed under: check this out,family,thoughts,travel — nics @ 9:33 pm

This is what usually happens when trying to get three kids to pose for the camera all at the same time. And as it should be… who wants boring old posed photos anyway? Shame on me for even trying.

Last weekend my brother, his wife, and three kids were here for a visit. It worked out quite well: one child per adult, perfect for crossing streets and walking through cities. Much museum going, laughter, jumping, talk and jokes of bodily functions (That’s right on my level… Boogers was the big one this time because there was a horse sculpture whose nose they could stick their fingers into and pretend they were wiping snot all over each other at, of all places, the American History Museum. Now you know what they learned about our nation’s history.), and sleep deprived whining entailed. I am just recovering now from those adorable energy sucking critters.

This is the picture Lauren drew of me. Love it! I was so happy to see all the grapes. How did she know I like wine? Lauren had the privilege of spending the night at my house one night during the family visit. This is what she wanted to do (and of course that means that’s what we did!): draw, paint, watch movies, drink hot chocolate, and eat snacks. Luckily I have apparently had a positive influence on her because her favorite movie to watch with me is My Neighbor Totoro.

Sadly, and much to Lauren’s dismay, I think Lauren is Mito’s most hated human in the world (and that’s saying quite a lot, coming from the anger filled depths of what is known as Mitochondria the cat). Her drawing of Mito says it all. I was listening to but not watching her as she drew this and she kept saying that the eyes were “too nice” and she kept redrawing them. I think she got it down.

Even though, by the last day of the trip (and I have to remind myself that sleep depravation that comes with traveling was completely taking the kids over by that point – aka grumpiness), Lauren seemed intent on finding any possible way to annoy me or make me angry, when she hugged me goodbye she told me she wanted to come live with me forever… awwwww.

post goodbye summer

September 4th, 2010

Filed under: art,food,thoughts,travel — nics @ 12:03 pm

I am finally giving in and admitting it. All of my classes have officially started and it is back to business as usual. (Not that I’m complaining… I’m very pleased with my classes so far.)

I can’t believe the summer is over. It was truly a wonderful one. Which only makes it that much harder to go back to the usual grind. The major highlights were: Penland, printmaking, fresh delicious tomatoes from the dirt bird garden, a New England birthday weekend, painting, finishing an animation for Artscape, wild blueberries, and daily seafood in Maine: lobster rolls, whole lobsters, clams, mussels, scallops, haddock…

The only thing I say good riddance to: the heat. This was the worst summer of heat ever for Baltimore. Please don’t ever happen again! It is so beautiful today, though, I have already put all that behind me.

And I leave you with a few memories of summer fun.

Penland printmaking studio


Maine beach walk

mushroom family at Roque Bluffs State Park

the beach at Great Wass Island Preserve

post Artscape

July 12th, 2010

Filed under: animation,art,Baltimore,thoughts — nics @ 11:24 pm

Here is a very very tiny preview of my new animation that will be showing (along with a couple of older ones) at the Hexagon during Artscape. If you are heading to all the goings-ons this Thursday evening be sure to stop by! Here’s the info:

The Hexagon
1825 N. Charles St.
July 15 – August 14
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 15, 6pm – 9pm

I will also have a couple of paintings up in the show at Theatre Project. The opening is, as is everything else, also Thursday evening. Be sure to check it out:

Theatre Project
45 W. Preston St.
July 15 – August 29
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 15, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

post how we are dealing

June 24th, 2010

Filed under: Baltimore,thoughts — nics @ 9:30 pm

I think this photo reveals how everyone was feeling in hot as hell Baltimore today. Ugh! I spent most of my day locked in my bedroom (only room with an AC) and trying to ignore my overall feeling of lethargy. Now that it’s 9:30pm and it has finally dipped below 90, I am venturing out and trying to do something more productive.

On a happier note, I did get to spend the weekend with Ben. And the heat gave us an excuse to not do much, sit around, eat a lot, drink a lot, and watch movies.

But, man! Am I behind on everything!!! This heat has got to stop!

post uh oh

April 30th, 2010

Filed under: art,thoughts — nics @ 6:46 pm

No posts for the month of April? I couldn’t let that happen! It’s May already?! How did that happen. I find it rather disturbing that the semester is almost over but I’m also very much looking forward to the break. It looks to be a busy summer ahead with a lot of exciting things to look forward to. A performance with live stop motion. A trip to North Carolina for a printmaking class. A trip to Maine to spend some time with Ben, relax, and make some art. Perhaps a trip to Colorado to see the wild ones? I’m ready!

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