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Frank Gumola - Journal | Weblog

Kraut It Out

Work days like the one I had today make me wish I constantly carried a camera:
    Bosslady: "The secret ingredient is sauerkraut! Iron Chef Frankie, do you accept the challenge?"
    Me: "Meh."
    BL: "I said, Do you accept the challenge?!"
    Me: "Put the toxic cabbage down before someone gets hurt! I'll do it!"
And that is why, on this New Year's Eve, I smell of rotten salad and pork products.

And why Miso won't let me in the shower.

Downtown

As always, original versions and more here.

Christmas Day, 2007

(Photoshop Urban Acid filter, among others, applied.)

Feel The Wrath

My favorite local clothing designers are doing something wonderful right about now:

More photos and shirt styles available here.

Burn Kitty, Burn

Miso has suddenly developed a strange attraction to the stove. The top of the stove, to be exact. I can only attribute it to one thing; I've switched kitchen cleaning products to an orange oil based cleaner. She sniffs around the stove top for a bit and I find her pawing at the burners (they're off) and I've had to relight the pilot lights on the left side on more than one occasion since she started this peculiar habit.

I've thought about the fact that there night be a mouse on the loose, but so far I hear nothing and I haven't seen any of the little critters since last winter.

If she's simply honing her natural mad hunting skills, well then, yay. Otherwise the little dear is just going to drive me insane. I'd hate myself if I knew I was reprimanding her for natural behavior.

I mean, it's really difficult to be angry at this beautiful creature:

Let It Snow

My first attempt at origami. Far from perfect, but it turned out nice enough.

Define Normal

Normal office banter, for a Monday:
    Me: "Hey! How was your weekend?"
    She: "Fine. The usual; movies, music, I accidentally maced my daughter."

    - a moment of silence -

    Me: "Wait...I thought your son was the troublemaker."
    She: "You're fired. Get back to work."

The Gift

I've been driving myself insane looking for a camera to get David for Christmas. Honestly, it was the only gift he requested. I don't didn't have much to spend (which is a polite way of saying I was trying to be thrifty...hello, budget) and have spent the past month furiously pouring over Sunday paper circulars searching for the perfect camera for my little shutterbug-wannabe.

Digital photos are wonderful, but David enjoys gazing upon his works in paper form; he's also a huge fan of photo albums.

Imagine the look of joy on my face this morning when I spied (with my huge caramel colored eyes) a cute little camera and a photo printer package; on sale, half off.

Half. Off.

SOLD!

I called the camera shop and spoke with a very knowledgeable young man (we'll call Steve, because that was his name) and asked a million questions, all of which were answered politely, professionally, and with nary an "Oh God, a digital newbie" overtone.

Steve held the package for me until I could pick it up this afternoon. Which was a blessing because shortly after my call, the shop sold out of the camera/printer package.

Of course I could barely contain my excitement and gave David the gift just a few hours ago.

I give you our first test run, click a photo for the full size.

Oh yes, there will be $BLING$.

Fake fir, angled.

Anything to make him smile.

And I Pray

My stepfather checked himself into the hospital a few days ago, complaining of chest pains and problems breathing. The doctors found a mass in his lung and determined it to be cancerous. Malignant? Benign? I don't know yet. One small mass, nothing has changed in the past few days other than us finding out it is indeed cancer.

I'm not sure how to prepare myself for the inevitable.

The reality of real life is hitting me harder than ever, and this whole ordeal is so not even about me. I'm not sure anything I type tonight will make any sense.

I catch myself pausing the routine that has become my everyday life. I stop and think about the mortality of each and every single person in my life. I stare at complete strangers and wonder if I will ever see them again.

I force smiles when I can. I hold back tears when I'm not alone. I hold David's hand every single moment I can.

And I thank God I have his shoulder to cry on.

Update: As stated above, I'd planned on visiting my stepfather tomorrow; the doctor's sent him home. He was given the option for surgery and is having the tumor (mass?) removed. I'll write more when I know more.

Time After Time

I was about to leave work last night when David called asking if I'd like to meet him out for a drink. We don't have impromptu date nights often enough, so of course I said yes. Half an hour later I found myself nearly running across the street to meet my man at the destination of choice.

I needed something to warm from within. Say hello to drink number one: Johnnie Walker, Red Label. Drinks two, three, four, and so on consisted of Red Bull, vodka, orange slices, and some shot consisting of Godiva liqueur and pudding.

Alcoholic pudding. Nothing but class when I'm out having fun, kids.

The highlight of the night was getting an early Christmas present. David knows my love for all things silver, and how I adore every shade of blue. Together they make the perfect gift:
    "I couldn't find an exact replica of the watch you lost during our move, but I hope you like this one."
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make me cry in a crowded bar.

Winter Tales

Milo Ventimiglia fans will get a kick out of this. The first in a series of claymation films from the American Eagle website. Note the DSC (Divide Social Club) shirt Milo's clay character is wearing in the short. Divide Pictures is Milo's co-owned production company. Why yes, I do have a great deal of free time.

Your, You're, Yore

If I could find the video, I'd grab a still of the scene I need. I can't, so you'll just have to just believe my tale.

Last night's Tonight Show episode was from Chicago, 1996. Michael Jordan and David Spade were the featured guests. I was still living in Chicago at the time of the original airing and thought it would be fun for David and I to watch the show. I'm happy I did. Because if I hadn't, I would have missed Michael Jordan's segment and (here's the part worth mentioning) the woman holding the tacky handmade sign reading: YOUR THE BEST.

What? Seriously, sweetie?

You're on a nationally televised program holding a sign with incorrect grammar?

We all make mistakes. Every last one of us. I make typos all the time. I spell check, double check my punctuation (which is never perfect), and quite often reword questionable sentences several minutes after I hit 'post'. I'm sure this entry has more than one mistake. I'm certain several revisions will be made. But here's my point:
    If you're going to show the world how you feel about a celebrity, if cameras are rolling, if any of the major networks will have cameras stationed anywhere in the immediate vicinity, please, for the love of punctuation, make sure your poster is flawless!
I've said it before, I'll say it again: This is why I constantly carry a Sharpie, and why I can't enter a grocery store within a ten mile radius of my home.

Who knew a grocer's apostrophe and a missing 'e' could get you blacklisted?

Making Up's Not Hard To Do

It is inevitable that in every type of relationship (be it one between friends, lovers or coworkers) a difference of opinion will occur.

David and I bicker constantly. It's our thing. He gets me, I get him, and we play along with one another until the silence and wry smiles between us reach critical giggling mass. Just as soon as the heated discussion boils over, the laughter extinguishes the flames and we're back where we started.

It's OK for him to tease me, and just as tolerable when the tables are turned; it's not so simple when a coworker is involved.

My boss once pointed out that I quickly get extremely defensive. I realized this morning just how spot-on she was with this observation when she pointed at me and stated that she'd never seen this side of me; and judging from the look on her face, didn't quite like it.

I not so politely, and not so quietly suggested we go back to our corners until we both calmed down and could discuss the matter at hand a bit more peacefully.

About an hour later a paper airplane flew past me and landed on the floor. I picked it up, opened it, and laughed hard enough to bring tears to my eyes.

She also gets me.

T, Much Information

A day late and five dollars short: The New York Times officially launched a site for T Magazine. With yesterday's issue (I never get around to reading my Sunday Times until Monday), T has gone global.

I still collect the paper issues (the most recent always displayed on an ottoman in the living room, or hanging from the towel bar in the bathroom by a metal clip on a chained hook) but the information not available in the insert is the draw here.

Music, video, and a regularly updated weblog are going to drain even more of my free time.

And for addicting articles about fashion, design, food, and travel - I will always make the time.

How Much Is That Duvet In The Window?

About three times a week I head down the street to the local java joint, pull up a barstool, and park myself in front of the window facing the street for a few hours. I chat with my online posse of peeps, peruse my usual virtual community haunts, and purse my lips around a piping hot cup of anything caffeinated.

When I've finished, I take a specific route home, taking a few minutes to gaze into the windows of a new store; DuoHome. Lush, plush and extravagant home furnishings fill this small space, front to back, wall to wall. The store's only been open about a week and I've never stepped inside. Until yesterday.
    "You're the window man!"
I'm the what?
    "We've seen you walk by a number of times and wondered why you've not come inside! Welcome to DuoHome!"
The store is located just across the street from my current obsession, those loft apartments.

If every business owner could be as friendly as DuoHome's Tim, I'd be a customer for life.