Ann Arbor Art Fair 2017

Every couple years, we make a pilgrimage out to the Art Fair, so we can blister our feet in humid, skin-scorching weather. But the art is always great, with prices that actually are affordable, and the set-up is (equally important, in my opinion) unpretentious.

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Sakura Season

I heard at work that NJ has more cherry trees than Washington D.C., and they are prettier. Having been to D.C. during cherry blossom season, not sure I agree with that, but the blooms at Branch Brook Park near Newark sure are pretty.

The place was pretty packed owing to Easter Sunday–everybody seemed to bring a picnic basket. The blooms were coming down from peak–recent rains and winds seemed to have de-petaled about half of the delicate flowers. But the park’s variety worked in its favor as there were still plenty of cherry blossoms to go around. You had your standard round five-petals, but then tiny, silvery-pink stars; thick, almost magenta clusters, and bright white ones.

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Penang, Malaysia

We were recently in Penang, Malaysia for a whirlwind trip, due to some family events.  Usually for Asia trips, we try to have at least a week of actual downtime, just so we have the time to get over the jetlag, but this time we could only manage three full days on the ground.  One less layover, but weirdly, I think I preferred the two-layover flight, since sitting for fifteen straight hours makes you end up with cramps in places you didn’t even know you had joints.  Taking advantage of the airline’s little sleeping cubicles (full bed! not a scrawny twin!) was surprisingly small mitigation.

Still, landing in warm, humid heat was a nice change of pace from the dry cold winter back home.  The humidity was also merely sticky as opposed to a slap in the face, which helped ease the constant wooziness from the jetlag.  We took it pretty easy as well, going light on the tourist activities and concentrating on food.

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NYC Comic Con 2016

I went to the NYC Comic Con for the first time in October, and it was…an experience. Seriously, I don’t remember the last time I saw so many people packed in so small a space.

I also got surprisingly exhausted. I wanted to take it easy for my first time, so I only bought a ticket for 1 day and didn’t dress up. After waiting 2 hours to get into the Javits Center, I walked into a seething morass of people, exhibits and costuming and truly had no idea where to look. There was just so much, and got tired just fighting my way through all the people.

On the plus side, despite being certainly more commercial than indie, you could still feel the enthusiasm of the attendees (caught Peter Capaldi mugging it up for some fans). And we didn’t run into any trolls hostile toward people who hadn’t been there from the absolute beginning, like superhero movies for god’s sake, and can’t even name what Character X did in Issue Gazillion, Page Whatever and what the artist was originally thinking he would draw and why he decided to change his mind.

I definitely would go back next year, though probably would spring for 2 days (one a Thursday, for less people) to have more time to look around, maybe see a panel or two, and work up the courage to ask to take pictures with the cosplayers (seriously, some were pretty cool).

DIY: Car Paint Scratches

So I’ve had my current car for almost 2 years now, and never had a garage during that time. Plus, I live in NJ, which has even worse roads than Michigan (didn’t think that was possible). So the paint job has gotten a little beat up–plus I scraped the corner of the bumper during a vacation this summer.

So I decided to do something about it. The problem is, getting it done at the dealership would cost hundreds and regular body shops not much less.

So…I consulted the Google.

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