Friday, May 27, 2011

muffins-apalooza!

Somehow, a couple of co-workers trash talking each others' baking skills turned into an impromptu muffin-off. I self-deprecatingly donated super fiber healthy muffins to the cause. Naturally, I lost; however, everyone's colons win (in 24-36 hours). Stupid chocolate chips.

first annual muffins-apalooza
first annual muffins-apalooza
first annual muffins-apalooza
first annual muffins-apalooza
first annual muffins-apalooza
first annual muffins-apalooza

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

cry uncle

I grew up with a menagerie of "uncles." My dad was one of six sons in his family, but he also had a huge network of friends that went way back. These were friendships that I reluctantly tolerated when I was younger, thinking that these men were not good enough for my dad. As I grew older, however, I started to understand the precious value of having people in your life who knew you when, with whom could throw back a beer and reminisce, who could call you out on your shit without fear of offense.

These men would filter in and out of my dad's stories and our house. Most of them knew my dad from his musical life. I grew up tapping my foot along with one uncle's kick drum; helping another uncle transcribe lyrics from a popular R&B song; setting up the guest bedroom for another who had been kicked out of the house by whichever gal he was shacked up with at the time. They were talented, sometimes troubled men, whom my dad protected and loved and supported without enabling. His interaction with them taught me much about how adult relationships should be.

When my dad called me on Saturday to tell me that Donald Ray had died, I think both he and I were beyond the shock of this kind of news. My dad had been saying goodbye to friends for a while, and he and his group are getting to the age in which epidemiology wins out over good intentions. I think that my dad, having seen this sort of thing way too often in the last 3 years, has tried to make his moments count with those who are still with us.

The last time I saw Donald Ray, he was performing with his most recent musical project, The Next Movement. I'm glad I got to see him at his best. Donald Ray is the one on extreme stage right.



(I realize that the idea of a lounge band may seem lame/cheesy to folks outside of Las Vegas, but these acts are such a fantastic part of the musical legacy there that I suggest you get over your cynicism and check one out if you ever visit).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

to infinity and beyond

Do you know what it's like to attend a memorial service for a toddler? It's like all the unfairness in the world distilled into one tiny white coffin.

I had never met Marcell. However, I have known his aunt, Franky, for the last seven years. She entered First Exposures when she was 11, and will be graduating from the program (and high school) this year (that's her smiling on the banner image on the FX website). She spent some time introducing me to Marcell through the photos on the memorial board. She said things like, "I'm not sad now, because he was so happy." Toy Story 3 played during the wake because, as Franky said, it was the only movie he could watch over and over again (and requested it by yelling "Toys! Toys! Toys!").

Wherever you are, Marcell, it was an honor to meet you, and I can now picture you laughing and dancing and eating because of your aunt Franky's stories.

visitors from inside the beltway

One of my closest friends from undergrad, Patrick, his wife Becca, and their 7-month old Jackson, made the trip from DC to California for the week. I hadn't seen Jackson since November; it is so amazing to see how he has developed a personality and charm all his own. Becca says he has a way with the ladies.

Jackson
Jackson

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Exposures feature in Snapixel magazine

First Exposures' director of education, Erik Auerbach, is interviewed in this month's Snapixel magazine. You can view a digital copy of the issue here.

Martha Graham Google doodle

Google has been killing it lately with their special event doodles. Here's the one today in honor of Martha Graham's 117th birthday:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Maystakes photobooth

Gene sent a photo from the Maystakes photobooth that didn't make it onto the server. I'm not in it, but it gives a good idea of what things were like in front of that camera all night.

Monday, May 9, 2011

"here lies poopface" stout tasting

Even though my friend Evan doesn't really like stout, he managed to accumulate a serious collection of it, and so invited folks over to help him drink them.
stout tasting 05.08.11
Tasty ones are asterisked:

Bonus sidetrack video of the parody Oregon Trail movie trailer:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

say hi to your mom for me

Last night, I had a nightmare that I accidentally got pregnant, gave birth a day later, and then had no idea how to raise my child. In other words, Happy Mother's Day to people who have figured out (or are working on figuring out) what they're doing.

April Maystakes

My friend Gene turned forty last month, and had a joint birthday party with two other people: Laura and Nate (both of whom I've never met, so happy birthday, strangers!). However, any party to which Gene is central is a sure bet for a Saturday night, so up to the city we went.

The party was held at Bolt|Peters, which seemed like a fantastic space for either an office or an uber-hip living arrangement. Many, many awesome hats abounded. One of my internet crushes, Maggie Mason, was also there, and I spent an unhealthy amount of time trying to work up the nerve to talk to her, and predictably chickening out. I have also instituted a new weekly ritual of rocking out to Def Leppard. You know, for the children.

Orange Photography set up a crazy photobooth that entailed a sideways couch, which was super fun until I saw some guy fall from the top/side onto the side of his face (he was OK). I was even witness to one "maystake," in which a really nice guy tried to hit on a married lady. Sorry, nice guy.

Orange should have photobooth pics up soon, but here are my crappy ones:

howdy
main floor
pinata
evolution of a photobooth shot

Friday, May 6, 2011

California Is A Place, "Uppercut"

Silicon Valley: land of a hundred garages. Some of those garages are harboring a nascent high-tech innovator. Some of them are fortifying doughy, pale software engineers and their hidden desire to feel alive. Gentlemen, welcome to Fight Club.


Never will I look at a dustbuster the same again.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

FX benefit photobooth time lapse

Here's a time lapse of all the photobooth pictures taken at the First Exposures Benefit (courtesy of Orange Photography):

PEPCON: twenty-three years later

Twenty-three years ago today, I was standing in my elementary school cafeteria when we felt the building shake. I watched one of the teachers grab onto a table for balance. Everyone rushed out the double doors to the courtyard where we watched plumes of smoke rise into the sky. Most Las Vegas natives have similar stories of where they were when the PEPCON blast occurred. The explosion also took out the Kidd Marshmallow plant. This seemed to be the bigger tragedy among my elementary school cohorts.


(Hat tip to my friend and fellow Vegas local, Steve Gomez, for the video link.)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"test me...to the max"

I just worked 3 days out of a four-day medical education conference. I also did double-duty as a photographer for some of the events. Too tired and sneezy to dissect it, but here's a photo from our reception at Cantor:

Cantor reception