Enjoying Vine – Saint Flashlight’s Planetary Series

My creative partner Drew Pisarra and I (working together under the name Saint Flashlight) jumped right in when Vine, the six-second iphone app, was introduced and are in the process of one of what might be several series of Vines. The first topic is the planets.

We’ve done Mercury (versions one and two), Mars (one and two), Saturn (one and two),  Jupiter (one and two), Venus (one and two, coming soon),and are now working on Neptune, Uranus, and Earth. We debated whether we should include Pluto and decided to follow scientists’ new classification of Pluto as a dwarf planet. But we still want to do the Sun, Moon, Pluto, North Star and more. Maybe we’ll denote those as “Other Stuff in the Sky”.

You can follow Saint Flashlight on twitter to view the Vines as they are posted.

Working on my website

Since we have another day at home here in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, it is a perfect time to work with Craig on finishing my website. My blog proved very useful today as I was trying to remember web examples that I wanted to show him. I remembered that I blogged about this a while back — more than two years ago I found out! — and tracked down my 2010 post that linked to three sites I like.

Since then, I have found other sites that intrigue me including The Drawing Center’s Viewing Program curator, Nina Katchadourian’s site, which I looked at after I met her just after staring my new job and before she heads off to be a professor at NYU.

Nina Katchadourian

And I recently saw a show by artist Asuka Ohsawa at Nancy Margolis Gallery. I looked at her site trying to find out more about this artist whose work I loved.

Asuka Ohsawa

And after watching several of the speakers at the recent Creative Time Summit online, Jeanne van Heeswijk stood out so I looked at her site too.

Jeanne van Heeswijk

Now I just need to wait for Craig to wake up after he fell back asleep on the couch where we are watching CNN silently and listening to WNYC.

Scenes from a Modern Marriage – A Klout Battle

Lately Craig and I have been having discussions that I think are specific to our time and to our fields with Craig being a developer and my recent forays into social media within my arts publicity work.

-About a month ago Craig noted that his Klout score was 42, so I checked mine and it was 44. I was sort of perturbed that our scores were so close considering that Craig doesn’t often use social media. He tweets now and then. Albeit he has written some zingers such as: “I care about 100% of the 53% of the American people that I care about.” – Mittens. On the other hand, I am gung-ho, recently beginning to use instagram, pinterest, tumblr with verve.

-So we became friendly competitors. I added all my new social media streams to Klout and my score soared to 57 in a few days. I would call Craig at work and just say “48 here”. I was happy.

-A day or two ago Craig happened to think of Klout again and looked up his scored (and mine). He was at 57! and I was at 55! Yikes. Craig is a very low key person and it’s hard to get a rise out of him. But that evening I have never seen him happier; he was aglow and looked like a cat with a canary in its mouth. I was aghast and loudly proclaimed Klout must be broken, because It Made No Sense! Craig thought his rise was due to retweets from his well-connected friends. That’s when I told him I would now refrain from all further marital support on the social media front — that meant No More @craigcoded mentions. And I tweeted “Modern relationship problem: I’m on a one-way retweet street.”, noting that Craig had been remiss in his partner twitter duties!

-Up to this point we have successfully navigated the rocky shoals of social media, privacy, and partnership. I never posted a photo of Craig without asking him first and I show him any posts that contain information about him. He is a much more private person than I am. And I guess I will continue to do so. He is asleep now, but I will wait for him to wake up and read this before I post it. Because, for the most part (especially when I am winning), our online competition is fun.

Book Love

Seeing artist Nina Katchadourian post on this wonderful New Yorker round up of Books as Muses made me feel joyful and think about just how much I love books and love to read. I love to read via all the mediums available to us. Paper is a wonderful technology and nothing will replace it for me. I love holding books, turning the pages, noting favorite pages with a post it or a handwritten scribble in the front page.

I also love reading on my computer or my phone. My husband introduced me to Instapaper which changed my reading life. Now I often hit the “Read Later” button that I installed on my browser when I don’t have time during the day to delve into a longer article. Then I do read it later on the subway. I also am happy to have a kindle to read books during my commute or when I’m travelling. It is not aesthetically pleasing and the bookmarking option is not as satisfiying as my post its or handwritten notes, but I use both. And am happy to have several books to choose from when travelling. Also I do buy paper books, new and second hand via amazon. But I also buy books via the spectacular book shops of New York. Although I haven’t been to all those mentioned in this round up, many of my favorites are mentioned (Unnamable, St. Mark’s, Strand).

Typing this made me remember Flavorwire’s amazing posts on the most beautiful bookstores and beautiful libraries from around the world. It is good to not forget libraries in my thoughts on the love of books. And just now I found their post on bizarre libraries, which are stunning.

Hugh Seidman and Ed Smith

Love this interview with the poet Hugh Seidman. My Dad just met Seidman under the sad circumstances of sitting shiva for a their mutual close friend and one of my Dad’s oldest colleagues and friends Edward “Eddie” Smith. Here is more on Ed’s impact in his fields of cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience and beyond.

since feeling is first

During a big clean up of my creative space in our apartment, I uncovered an article about learning how to memorize a poem. In it the writer emphasized the importance of this task. It was like reading an advice column about the importance of taking vitamin D or exercising and I thought I should try it (I do take vitamin D and I try to dance around living room now and then).

I found a poem that I love and I didn’t it think would be too hard to memorize. That said, I don’t remember the last time I tried to memorize anything. It is hard or, like with exercise, I’m out of practice (or was never in practice). I’m still working on this and am now looking into tips on memorizing. I’m guessing repetition is key, but maybe there are some tricks too.

since feeling is first

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

-e.e. cummings

I just researched memorizing a poem and found this good round up of methods; it also has the article that originally inspired me by Jim Holt.

Lovely Book Group

My wonderful book group decided to step away from New York City and meet at one of our member’s  upstate home (thanks Lisa) to cool off and to have a sleep over. We had delicious eats (thanks again Lisa for the yummy pesto and more) and a great discussion of Octavia Butler‘s Lilith’s Brood.

Here’s big shout out to all these lovely women, some of whom have websites giving details about their creative and work pursuits: Lisa Delillo (artists), Dena Mermelstein (film and video editor), Allyson Smith (jewelry designer), Anne Lilly (teacher, drama gal), Caroline Gartner (writer and video producer), and Nnenna Ogwo (pianist and teacher).


My pal Drew mentioned he was going to read Isaac Asimov‘s Foundation series so I thought I’d give this seminal work of sci-fi a try. And after reading the three key books–Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation–I can highly recommend them. This recommendation is especially for those in the mood for sci-fi style writing and/or some very good twists and turns. I read later that the first book was originally a series of short stories which explains some of the repeating of key elements.

Looking for Jewelry as a Gift

A close friend was having a major birthday and I couldn’t think of the right gift. Then I remember how much she loves earrings and how wonderful they look on her with her short black hair. So I was looking around a bit online at some of my favorite shops so I could have a pair sent directly to her. Here are some of my top picks:

I’ve blogged before about the amazing Cog and Pearl shop on 5th Ave in Brooklyn, but I need to mention it again here. In another Brooklyn shop I noticed a beautiful necklace made by Wendy Mink, so I decided to look on her site too. Another designer that coworkers from BAM introduced me to is Jane Diaz, whose silver pieces are classic. And one of my more recent favs and the place where Craig and I found my wedding ring(!) is St. Kilda. The shop also on 5th Ave in Brooklyn is a treasure trove of sharp and delicate beauty. I love its slate gray walls and gold neon script on those walls.

But I ended up picking a pair of earrings on a site that I bookmarked long ago called the silly name of shopbop.com. But they have very pretty jewelry.