what is going on?!

so there i was, hiding behind part of a building. i had just walked past my former highschool crush and ducked behind part of the building to watch him walk away, but instead caught him monologuing his hidden love to me out loud under a bright blue full moon. he went on and on about how someday he will have me back in his life when something spooked both of us. yep, it was steve guttenberg (yes, from police academy fame) and his wife. it must have been halloween because they were dressed as the dorkiest couple alive. matching running shorts and matching cd players swinging from their hips. their two kids were close at hand. we exchanged quick hellos (as you do when steve gettenberg pops out of nowhere) and they talked a bit about their running regime. then steve said i had to hear what he was listening to. he put his headphones on my ears and i heard one of the great songs from the katamari damacy game. i started to hum along when it skipped back to the beginning and started to replay, and then did it again about every 30 seconds. i tried to let steve know that there was something wrong with his disc or his player,

me: it’s only playing the first thirty seconds of the song.

steve: yeah, that’s the way i have it.

me: you know the rest of the song is pretty great, in fact the whole album is fantastic.

steve: oh yeah.

me: i can get it for you, i have it.

steve: no thanks, this is how i like it. (big grin, nodding head)

my brain: are you insane? think of the children!

me: it’s simple. let me show you.

then i pulled out my laptop which was somehow conveniently on me, and played some of the songs and giggled over the lyrics. it was a losing a battle. how could he be content to only listen to the first thirty seconds of a song, over and over?!


my phone alarm was trying to alert me to wake up. we’re staying in a hotel and have a very early flight to tampa to visit my aunt for the holiday. the first of my two phone alarms plays the first 30 seconds of one of the wonderful katamari damacy songs. i, apparently, was ignoring it, in a fashion.

happy holidays everyone. safe travels and all that!


an evening in ottawa

so mom called me from work, claiming that we NEEDED to go out tonight, but where? how about ottawa. sure, i like ottawa. it’s pretty, there are things to do. . .etc. she actually found a little place that did a dinner murder mystery theatre. she invited sarah, a friend of the family, and we headed out after work.

keep in mind, my dad has gone downstate to visit family for the week. he took the honda. my car is buried in snow, and won’t be leaving its spot till the snow melts away- or till i have it towed. mom has her car at work, and that left me the whole week with the truck, which i can’t drive since it’s standard. basically, i lived the entire week as a shut in. the cats loved it. someone always around to dote on them. but now i’m headed out for public interaction, and in canada, and at a dinner murder mystery theatre. . . . what could possibly happen?

i was actually looking forward to it when i first read the program. the company themed the evening after the holidays. the place of ‘business’ we were benefitting with our presence was a small ballet school that had fallen on hard times, each of the characters had a nutcracker based name and such. but i was excited because i thought ballet dancers were going to be murdered! that is definitely something to look forward to. i started to get giddy with the anticipation of audience participation. . . . could I be responsible for a bun-head murder?! . . . . . . please?! well. . . we never got to the actual ballet part. . . all the action took place before the school could put on a show. damn.

so there were a couple of sleazy characters. i took a liking to ‘harry sugarplum.’ he had a bad. . . bad hair piece. and even better, it was a mullet! excellent. harry was the second person to be ‘killed.’ the detective got up to ask the audience for clues and ideas. harry was caught in a fire. his hairpiece was missing when he came out to die on stage. i made some loud comment about suffering from ‘mullet separation.’ the detective caught it and riffed on how we would all miss that amazing hairdo.

later in the evening, we were given ballots in which we were to fill in who we thought was guilty and why. - i want to clarify that i really thought that the ballots wouldn’t be read. . or maybe they would be read after the show, and perhaps my ballot would give someone a chuckle later that evening. it read something close to this,

“i believe harry’s mullet committed the murders. you see harry (we’ll just call him ‘sugar’ from now on) has kept his mullet on undesired life support since it clinically died back in the 80’s. the mullet has always desired to be left in peace, so it did sugar’s bidding for years, hoping that someday sugar would retire him. so the first murder was committed by the mullet at sugar’s demand. however, over the course of the evening, the mullet realized that sugar would never let him go. the mullet used its extensive amount of hair product as an accelerant and started the fire that killed sugar, also killing itself. . . finally, the mullet is at peace.”

before the cast announced the winner of the prize for the person who correctly submitted a ballot, they read a select few that they thought were interesting. . . . but very wrong. there were two others, and then i saw the diatribe of my ballot on the bottom. he (the guy who played harry) read the whole thing. it was a big hit.

see what happens as a shut in? i become all abstract and shit. . . but funny. . . :)



123456, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i drove to boston to pick up my brother for thanksgiving with our family downstate in ny. it ended up being this larger trip over all for me- colton to boston to holmes to colton to boston to baltimore to boston and back to colton. . . pretty fun. . . and i passed this while driving.

landmark homer

landmark homer, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i don't know how or why this existed, but it turned out to be a great landmark as i wandered around allston and boston. i knew i was really close to my brother's when i saw this. sadly when i left boston, it looked like they had taken it down.


suspicious, originally uploaded by ekissam.

dan and i found this is a nearby mall. just a little sketchy looking. here, swipe your card here and get your balance while we take your identity!


34th.1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

a view from travis' porch of the 'miracle on 34th street' in baltimore.


34th.2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

travis on his porch while people pour by.


34th.3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

this is no small thing for some of these people. some offer open houses with warm cider.


34th.4, originally uploaded by ekissam.

travis' place, with the large christmas tree, complete with musically timed lighting. of course!

late night cupcakes

late night cupcakes, originally uploaded by ekissam.

hanging out with travis one night. at a friend's house, the group of us go through the cupboards to decide what ingredients to include in a late night cupcake snack. travis, sara, dale, and chris ponder, and the conclusion was a delicious chocolate and mint cake and chocolate and mint frosting.

kitty mound

kitty mound, originally uploaded by ekissam.

while staying with lesley i remade my bed and noticed and unusal form under the covers.

kitty revealed

kitty revealed, originally uploaded by ekissam.

oh, it's just a sleepy ramona (lesley's kitty) under the covers.

b'more aquarium.1

b'more aquarium.1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

cool looking bubble tubes at the baltimore aquarium.

b'more aquarium.2

b'more aquarium.2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

the dolphin show at the aquarium.

b'more aquarium.3

b'more aquarium.3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

flipping flipper!

b'more aquarium.6

b'more aquarium.6, originally uploaded by ekissam.

no doubting this thing is ugly. i kept thinking how it would look better cut up and dripping in sauce on my sushi plate.

b'more aquarium.7

b'more aquarium.7, originally uploaded by ekissam.

kinda looks like a dr. suess book.

b'more aquarium.8

b'more aquarium.8, originally uploaded by ekissam.

this fish. . . didn't make me so hungry for sushi.

b'more aquarium.11

b'more aquarium.11, originally uploaded by ekissam.

yep, just me, at the baltimore aquarium.


mapparium, originally uploaded by ekissam.

outside the mapparium in boston, in the hall of ideas (i think it was called that) anyway, the date on this thing is wrong. pretty, but wrong. and no photos inside the mapparium. . . too bad.


mos.2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

got a decent shot of the tesla coil, harder to get the indoor lighting.

museum of science in boston, during the electricity show.


not driving, still travelling, and driving again

i headed to baltimore to visit a couple of friends, and to check out a job opportunity. didn’t feel like driving though, and still not too keen on the bus. . . so i took a train. nice way to relax, read, sleep, whatever, and no need to go through tsa.

got through another audiobook. ‘don’t get too comfortable.’ pretty witty.

i got into town and was able to meet up with lesley. she has a cute apartment, and a sweet cat. she has a roommate as well, but i never saw her, she’s interning at a hospital. it would seem that they have a schedule worse than a theatre technician’s.

lesley showed me all around centerstage- it’s a pretty great space, even got to see a show. we caught up a bit, and i got to see jacob, a former apprentice.

travis walked me through his neighborhood- it’s ‘miracle on 34th street’ time there. it’s really kinda spectacular. we headed over to their friends after dinner and set up to play a game but never got there. how can anyone play a game when there are cupcakes from scratch to be made! one of their friends had a new iphone, and i finally played around with it a bit. way incredible. . .

they were in a tech weekend, so i spent some time at the aquarium the next day and met up with travis again for a movie.

i left monday morning and arrived in boston, just in time to drop my bags, text dan to order me a drink, and walk over to meet them at the common ground, for another round of trivia!

i can’t remember the exact order of things, seems to matter a little less these days, but i did do more shopping, i got to the isabella stewart gardener museum (my fav in boston), the mapparium, and another evening of trivia at tommy doyles. i had a great time. it was nice to have so much around me, all in walking distance, or T distance. i definitely miss that about boston.

dan (my friend from highschool), cayla (his friend), dan and i all met up again for dinner as we planned before. we went over to the otherside cafe. really cute place, and really nice food. there was talk of meeting up again, and possible movie nights. it would seem that i could make myself a decent social life if i figured a way to live in boston. seems the same if i wanted to take the job in baltimore- but i didn’t. i have a couple other things i want to do first i guess.

for now though, headed back home. another audiobook, ‘the stupidest angel’, a dinner party that my mom has planned, a big snow storm, and plans to get to florida for the holidays.


back to boston

i seriously don’t remember if we went back on monday or tuesday, but. . .dan needed to get back to work, so we drove down. we listened to ‘m is for magic’ during the ride. such a sucker for neil gaiman.

i did a bunch of walking around boston, even visited some of the newer areas of emerson- they have a barnes and nobles now, and a slick new student center. . . i did some shopping, so hard to resist such cute places!

dan and terry held a poker night. i watched and made some food. . . but not really enticed to play at all.

tommy doyle’s-
we heard last wednesday that the next week’s trivia was cancelled. . . . it was cancelled at big city, but not tommy doyle’s. so instead of playing in allston, we headed out to cambridge. i met up with a number of dan’s co-workers. the pub was really great- excellent shepard’s pie. . . as a team we didn’t do as well, the competition was definitely stiffer, but a quick favorite.

clean sweep-
i cleaned my brother’s and roommate’s bathroom. made a trip to target and bought a new shower curtain, new rugs, made the afternoon of it. seems i can’t help myself every once in a while.

time to travel again.



dan and i drove to thanksgiving at our aunt and uncle’s early thursday morning. we hit traffic about 20 miles from our destination, and it held us up for almost two hours. annoying. . . frustrating. . . . but we made it just before the food was served. thanksgiving was really laid back and great. plenty of food, good chatting, a late night round of apples to apples. dan and i had thought about making something to bring for the dinner and then though better of it. instead we brought the wii and guitar hero, it filled up some late hours. both met with a bit of resistance, but eventually nearly everyone gave in and donned the guitar, or played a round of bowling.

for black friday a group of us hit the movies and caught ‘enchanted’ while others were occupied elsewhere. that evening two of my teenage cousins and i went to rent a movie for the group and i needed to get whiskey for hot toddy’s. it seemed that along with the joys of family comes a slew of germs and several of us were getting the sniffles. we sat through ‘spirited away’ because for some reason my manga crazed cousin hadn’t even seen yet.

mom, dad, dan, and i headed home on saturday. we drove our cousin tim up as well, since he’s up at potsdam state. dan and i popped in the audiobook, ‘stardust.’ we figured tim would pass out for the majority of the drive, but he actually seemed to get interested in it. we all stopped at mom and dad’s latest favorite pit stop, a little italian deli in warrensburg. mmmm, heroes and cannolis.

dan got in touch with one of his closest friends from highschool. he came over and we caught up for a bit. between dan’s and my class there were a large number of siblings, and they just had the 10th reunion, so i caught up a bit vicariously.

tim got off to school the next day, but not without finishing the last hour of ‘stardust.’

dan was in search of ‘rockband’ for the ps2. they seemed to be all sold out in boston, but the demand is never so great in the northcountry, so we headed up to the mall- if you can even call it that anymore. we found out that the game hadn’t been released for ps2 yet. . . bummer!



dan got wednesday off, and we planned to meet up with our cousin, ashley for a bit of an outing. dan helped plan our ride into town with a pit stop for boba tea. . . mmm, so good.

dan and i met up with ash and her friend currently going to college in boston. we spent part of an afternoon at TOMB. i HIGHLY recommend it to anyone. i wish the company had some other themed versions available, but it seems to be only the one. you enter this egyptian themed amusement thingy (not a park), and you go through and solve puzzles in order to complete a mission with a number of other people who just happen to be there, and the appropriately overly enthusiastic guide. it’s kind of amazing how quickly leaders show themselves, even among complete strangers. there was one puzzle that i’m not sure we would’ve gotten through if dan hadn’t taken over. he was fair though, let the kids around us be involved and do the work while he dictated the strategy. ash is an RA at her college

we spent dinner with a couple of my friends (well, my best friend from highschool and one of his friends from the area) we ate at fire and ice- a restaurant with an interesting set up. you walk around all the ingredients and add the ones you want to a bowl, then choose the type of sauce you want and walk over to the cooking area. you hand off your ingredients to one of the cooks along with everyone else there and they cook it up on a large circular grill. we had a great time and decided to take a walk to the movies. we caught ‘dan in real life’ and then made plans to do something similar when dan and i were back after thanksgiving.


a walk around

i took a decent walk through some parts of downtown. started at government center and had lunch at feneuil hall/ quincy market. . . yes, touristy, but great chowder. . . really hits the spot on a chilly rainy day. i walked through government center, downtown crossing and then headed to the mfa. it’s alright, it was never my favorite, and i tried to give it a clean slate, but i still found it a little dull. there was a nice display of ancient chinese furniture though.

dan and i had dinner with some of his friends. real nice people, and it was just warm/ chilly enough for them to fire up the grill. great dinner, lovely chatting, cute kitty. . .



that’s the mileage number i passed on my way to boston. the idea is that i would drive down a couple of days early to pick dan up for thanksgiving, and get a chance to hang out for a few days. i got in town just in time for a trivia night, which was pretty empty right before thanksgiving. . . our small team of two took second place- yeah, that’s right, lake placid IS the only north american city to have held the olympics twice in the past century. and there’s that great bookstore there that gives out 2 dollar bills for change, but that really wasn’t part of the question.



yes, what would erika do?

E: so, say you’ve taken some time off of work, undecided about how you’ve spent the past 14 years of your life.

S: oh, how awful.

E: yes, rather daunting but back to the quick of it. so you are back living with your parents. just recently you were a productive member of society. you made money, spent it, paid bills, fed, clothed and sheltered yourself, and with reasonable success. and now it would seem none of that ever existed. the questions made by your parentals suggest that within a matter of minutes alone in the house you are capable of burning it down or in some other way destroying it utterly. it would seem that you’ve never used a washer, dryer, dishwasher, vacuum, iron, or shower before. all these things are incredibly difficult to use and come with amazing instructions from said parentals. how ever did you exist before all this? oh right, you did. it’s a wonder, isn’t it.

S: where is this going?

E: i’m getting there. indeed, you’ve let some habits slide. at one point you were very organized. for a random example let’s say laundry was done on a specific day of the week and promptly put away. this made the rest of the week easier. you could wake up in the morning and easily locate the shirt you planned to wear to work, because it was neatly put where you expected it to be. this could even be done while groggy or in haste if one overslept a bit. but the initial organization made it easy. however, there is no haste that exists currently. there is no urgency. so these days when laundry is done, sometimes it sits in the laundry basket waiting to be folded for days.

S: odd.

E: well, it just doesn’t matter so much. no urgency.

S: what if you need to find something to go somewhere.

E: there is no where you NEED to go. so if you want to go somewhere, and it takes an extra 15 minutes to locate the shirt you want to wear it really doesn’t matter. follow?

S: sure.

E: even though you have loosened the grip on your habits, not all those around you have done the same. others stick to their habits, even when it impedes upon your territory. for instance, perhaps one of your parentals walks into your room, and noticed the ‘mess of clothes on the floor’ and decides, without questioning you, to pick it all up. now, said parental didn’t know that the clothes in the hamper were clean, the pile near the window was dirty, the pile near the dresser had another day’s use in them and the pj’s on the bed were going to be worn that night.

you knew this.

you had a system.

but the parental didn’t know and didn’t ask. just tossed all the clothing into the hamper. so now the system was all screwed up and you’d probably end up having to clean the whole lot (even the already clean because it’s now been contaminated by the dirty because you do have a little OCD). what’s more, you are just frustrated that instead of asking a simple question, action was taken that has now messed up your system.

S: mmm. i’m hypothetically frustrated.

E: well, you could tell said parental of this problem and ask them to stop moving your things about.

S: sounds good.

E: . . . but you already tried this and apparently the message was not received.

S: upsetting.

E: indeed. however, you once again state your case. when apologies are offered you refuse them and ask instead for your things to no longer be touched. simple, it would seem.

S: it would seem.

E: but you’ve been taught idiot proofing, and well, you have a mischievous side. so you decide to take a little action. it must be something related to the original problem, and not damaging.

S: what would YOU do?

E: i’d rearrange said parent’s underwear drawer. when getting up, while still sleepy and with little light, it’s just completely annoying. all you need is your undies so you can go and shower, but they aren’t exactly where you put them.

S: oh i see. so you’ve upset their routine just as they upset yours. and they might think, ‘hey, it sucks when someone moves MY things out of the place that i am used to. i must really annoy others when i’m doing the same to them. gee, i should stop those actions of mine. thank goodness my daughter has pointed this annoying habit of mine out to me through the use of this simple and yet not damaging prank.’

E: exactly.

S: so what if the behavior continues? what would you do next?

E: well, let me think a bit. heh, who am i kidding, i already know my next move. you see, i thought about it while running errands in town the other day. i was annoyed by my key chain, when i realized the annoyance was the new key dangling from it. my parental’s car key. after being doped up on a recent doctor visit, said parental couldn’t drive. so i chauffeured. i still have the key. it would be completely easy to drive to parental’s place of work and relocate the parked car. could be to another spot in the same lot, or could be a completely different lot.

S: and what does that accomplish?

E: well, not only can it instill fear and panic to not see your car where you put it, but to find it nearby and unharmed would be embarrassing, annoying, and may even create doubt and suspicion into the mental faculties of said parental.

S: huh?

E: it might lead them to believe that they are experiencing early signs of ‘senior moments.’

S: oh. how diabolical.

E: true.

S: so are you gonna go through with it?

E: eh. i don’t exactly HAVE to. you see, just the mere mention of the possibility is enough, especially when said parental reads this blog on a regular basis. they may turn from their computer and call me a snot, or a brat, but the fear has been imprinted.

will i move the car? let’s ask eddie. . .
(ps, play video below)


the sticks

the sticks, originally uploaded by ekissam.

for those of you who don't fully comprehend what i mean when i say i come from a rural area. . . i took this shot at the grocery store parking lot. yeah, there's some amish around here.


halloween.07.5, originally uploaded by ekissam.

my parents were in hawaii. while they were gone they asked to me decorate some pumpkins to get ready for halloween. really, what else did they expect?


halloween.07.1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i made one for my grandpa's house too. :)


halloween.07.3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

not quite as brite as a lite brite. . . but slightly nifty i guess.


best served cold. . .

later into the opera season, props hit both the electrics and stage crew with a prank. they took many of the glass rocks that had been falling off the ‘tea’ floor and glued them, decoratively to the crew’s lockers. i don’t have a picture yet, but i will try to get a hold of one. the crews found it and the props run crew reveled. they had woken up VERY early to set about the task. it was tedious i’m sure. the prank was cute. . . decorative. . . but not extremely clever by my measurement. there was also a batch of cookies made for a stage crew supervisor with salt substituted for sugar.

there was a desire to get back at the props run crew. the idea behind a great prank is that it’s a surprise, it’s clever, and ultimately- not destructive. it’s the non destructive part that often ends up being the most difficult to adhere to.

the idea:
we were setting up some of our strike in the basement while walking past pieces of the platee set. each chair, of the many, were tagged as the props department does to archive their items. it looks like a giant tag sale in the basement. everything is marked. i thought to myself. . . would be kind of fun to gain access to the props run crew office and tag every little thing. . . pens, tape, computer, and around all the storage. . . just the ridiculousness of it made me giggle a bit. so we started talking about it. it was already early afternoon of the last performance. not much time to act.

the set up:
i talked to the electrics crew, and the supervisors on the stage crew. it sounded like it could be fun, but there were a lot of obstacles. we didn’t have the tags. . . and we need to gain access to their office. actually getting into the office isn’t difficult, but it’s the last day, in the afternoon. we couldn’t wait till the next day because the props crew would be striking that night and most wouldn’t be in the next day. getting in there that day, when the props crew wouldn’t be there was going to be really hard. if we had enough people, it wouldn’t take long to accomplish the task, and we could do some prep work in our own shop.

after talking to a few more people, we had four or five people on standby to leave the opera on their break and buy the tags. the electrics crew was excited about the prospect, but i was getting worried we wouldn’t have the opportunity. . . then it hit me. before each show the entire props and stage crew meet at steps for ‘step chat.’ it’s the end of the season, so the meeting would be really short. . . but if we could figure a way to make it last longer, the electrics crew could run into the empty prop run office and get to work. . . . and then perhaps we could make a call on radio that we are in the basement and need help from stage crew to shift some scenery. . . . and step chat would wait till the stage crew came back before releasing everyone. we could have a ten minute window, with maybe sixteen people tagging everything in sight. . . .

the prank:
it went down basically as planned. one of the stage crew assistant sups. got the tags. a few of the electrics crew pre labeled the tags. step chat started and the electrics crew descended into the prop run office. we radioed for ‘help’ and eight more stage crew members came bounding in. we had crews assembled. as with everything, we were efficient. some people labeled, some people ripped tape, other ran around taping on the tags. in ten minutes we laid out around 425 tags.

it was great fun.

people left at step chat who weren’t in on it were a little curious. . . but they soon found out.

ok, not the greatest prank ever. . . .but kinda clever.

enjoy the pics.

tag 1

tag 1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

and they're off!

tag 2

tag 2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

tag cart? check.

tag 3

tag 3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

thing 1 and thing 2

tag 4

tag 4, originally uploaded by ekissam.

moving quickly

tag 5

tag 5, originally uploaded by ekissam.

dead shit

tag 6

tag 6, originally uploaded by ekissam.

can't explain, but tagged.

tag 7

tag 7, originally uploaded by ekissam.

tagging the tag

tag 8

tag 8, originally uploaded by ekissam.

a mislabel?


there can be only one!

my good friend and former roommate sent this to me. i have no idea where she got it. . . but i LOVE it. . . and she sent it to me with a quick note. . .
“I think that this lady and I are soul mates.”
-thanks katie!
Survival Of The Fittest 

Whenever I get a package of plain M&Ms, I make it my duty to continue the strength and robustness of the candy as a species. To this end, I hold M&M duels. 

Taking two candies between my thumb and forefinger, I apply pressure, squeezing them together until one of them cracks and splinters. That is the "loser," and I eat the inferior one immediately. The winner gets to go another round. 

I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and the newer blue ones are genetically inferior. I have hypothesized that the blue M&Ms as a race cannot survive long in the intense theater of competition that is the modern candy and snack-food world. 

Occasionally I will get a mutation, a candy that is misshapen, or pointier, or flatter than the rest. Almost invariably this proves to be a weakness, but on very rare occasions it gives the candy extra strength. In this way, the species continues to adapt to its environment. 

When I reach the end of the pack, I am left with one M&M, the strongest of the herd. Since it would make no sense to eat this one as well, I pack it neatly in an envelope and send it to M&M Mars, A Division of Mars, Inc., Hackettstown , NJ 17840-1503 U.S.A., along with a 3x5 card reading, "Please use this M&M for breeding purposes." 

This week they wrote back to thank me, and sent me a coupon for a free 1/2 pound bag of plain M&Ms. I consider this "grant money." I have set aside the weekend for a grand tournament. From a field of hundreds, we will discover the True Champion. 

There can be only one.


from silent retreat to silent movie

so i spent a little over a week at a silent retreat in massachusetts. it was really beautiful and the weather was kind of perfect. . . only got a little muggy and hot over the weekend. i thought i had planned everything out. . . knowing that i would get my period, i had the proper provisions. . . and i brought some food, since i didn’t really know what to expect. . . i had plenty of tea and honey. . . what i didn’t prepare or count on was getting a cold. . .

it was actually really chilly my first three days there. . . and i felt a suspicious tickle in my throat the first night. two and a half days in, and i had a full head cold. not exactly what you are hoping for when you are being asked to breathe and meditate calmly. i was lucky that i was the only one around for the first part of the week. i’d hate to share the meditation space and be constantly buggy anyone else by blowing my nose and sniffling.

the entire week was exceedingly quiet and serene. . . just what i was looking for. i listened to some music on certain days, hiked on and near the appalachian trail, meditated, reflected. . . fell asleep whenever i felt like it. it was pretty great. i got a little restless over the weekend, but it passed over and i felt ready to get onto other tasks by the time i left.

i called mom and dad on my way home. mom asked if i was up for a themed movie that night. . . themed?

it was a silent movie, with a live organist being hosted at her college. it seemed rather fitting. . . turned out to be a buster keaton movie- the general- and the organist was pretty talented. can’t imagine having to keep up with a movie that i haven’t seen and continuously adding a score off the top of my head. . . that’s a special talent.

not a bad way to re-enter the regular world,


lightness. . .

about a week before i was to leave santa fe i had this interesting experience. i got up in the morning, everything just as usual. i started my stretching routine, and maybe i stayed a little longer on my back trying to relax my face. i’ve noticed that i hold a lot of tension in my face, for whatever reason. as i sat up to start stretching my legs (the positions where i feel the most tension from hurting my back) there was this ease that i hadn’t felt for a while. each of the stretches was totally easy, no pain, no strain, and i was reaching farther than i had in years probably. i moved around trying to find the pain and stiffness i am used to, but i couldn’t. everything was tension free.

then i realized it didn’t confine itself to my body. my mind was lighter. i sent myself through a quick gauntlet of painful memories to see how i would react to them. nothing stuck. everything rolled off my back gently. i felt enlivened and powerful. sometime during the course of the day i lost sight of that feeling and was immersed in the business of the day, but for a whole morning i was untouchable, strong and clear. this is the feeling i was hoping to achieve during my silent retreat time. i don’t know if i will get there again, but i was there for a bit so there’s a possibility that i will find it again.


if you love something. . .

set if free?

i remember littering the signature page of letters between pen pals with little sayings like that. ‘longer letter later’ (all made with one large L), sorry so short (all made with one large S), 2 people + 2 cool = 4 school and other silly little tag lines that were ever apparent and adjusted through our adolescence. “if you love something, set it free. if it returns, it was always meant to be. if it doesn’t, it was never yours to start with.” ?. . . is that how it went? i’m possibly paraphrasing, but it’s along that line.

at the time we wrote about it according to our crushes and whichever heavy metal hair band member we idolized over that month. when i think of one pen pal in particular, she’s been through a marriage, a divorce and is now raising two children. she’s been in and outta love from high school on (HA, kudos to those who caught the bon jovi reference!). i’ve avoided it like the plague. watching the roller coaster ride from the side can be amusing, lonely, and relieving all at the same time. i didn’t exactly realize i was just watching from a different ride.

i love my job.

i love my work.

theatrical electrician. . . says so on the card.

i don’t know how else to put it into words. when i tell the uninitiated what i do, many times they get this inflated and glamourous picture in their head. they think of the largest spectacled shows they’ve ever seen and imagine me there. i could try and correct their vision, but most often i get just as excited.

“NO! i didn’t work on that, but i did work on something else that was just as cool and magical for it’s own reasons. i know it inside and out and there is no way in hell i could explain it to the uninitiated, you would be completely bored with the details and i would lose you in the technicalities. but when all the little parts come together it created this art in motion that moved people, that impressed people, that made me proud. and there is no way i can impart that feeling in you other than to be just as excited, so i will nod my head and say, ‘yeah, it’s something like that.’”

for the ‘it’ crowd, the ones that understand. . . they know, or have an idea of where i stand. so i can get them excited by talking about the ‘boring’ details, and ‘mundane’ technicalities. but i can infuse them with the excitement i have about them. . . and infect them. it’s a tack i use when hiring or teaching class. i’ve seen it work, without a doubt- and i tend to be doubtful. but i have infected others, in the best sense. i’ve even been thanked. i might miss that part the most- the infection.

my work has been my greatest passion. and i don’t mean to make it out to be bigger than it is. i assist in the creation of a fake world for fake people that others watch for enjoyment. . . i didn’t cure cancer or anything.

so from a week after my high school graduation through today i’ve worked in technical theatre. yeah, there were two stints in college there too, but i was constantly working in technical theatre, constantly putting up a show, constantly in the design or implementation phase. late june 1993 through september 2007, some 14 years? (if we wanted to get technical, since i most often worked more than 40 hour weeks, we could start adjusting the years. . . but let’s not get technical) short by many standards. . . and yet, here i plan to leave. i won’t promise, since i don’t like to make a liar of myself. but i think i might be done. and i just found out i made it into a larger professional publication, picture and all. ironic. . .

if you love something, set it free.

. . . . . .

wonder if i get alimony?

. . . . . .

now what?


sniff 1

sniff 1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i took one of the apprentices to the airport this year. i got this message before i went to pick him up. he had been teary eyed all day, and before he got on the plane i snuck a package of tissues into his hard hat which he was going to carry on board since it didn't fit into his luggage. then we exchanged texts before he boarded. - sometimes it's the silly little things that make the hard days pass more easily.

sniff 2

sniff 2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

sniff 3

sniff 3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

sniff 4

sniff 4, originally uploaded by ekissam.

sniff 5

sniff 5, originally uploaded by ekissam.

sniff 7

sniff 7, originally uploaded by ekissam.

sniff 8

sniff 8, originally uploaded by ekissam.


simple logic

simple logic, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i've been told recently that i have poor time management skills, and i lack in leadership. sounds to me like being a Master Electrician might not be the best idea. but just in case, here's an equation.

i always sucked at algebra, for the most part. but i was REALLY good at truth/ logic tables. all the kids that were good at the rest of algebra had to struggle through the truth tables and i never understood that.

prop tart.1

prop tart.1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

the prop tart coronation. . . the theme- a pirate booty ball.

prop tart.2

prop tart.2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

the pope of paints and his crew brought in a puppet show.

the treasure map

the treasure map, originally uploaded by ekissam.

the light up treasure map we made as a gift for the prop tart queen in honor of her coronation.

platee focus.3

platee focus.3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

a sunset break with the lighting crew.

platee focus sunset.2

platee focus sunset.2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

a sunset from the back deck during a platee focus.

just a little posed

just a little posed, originally uploaded by ekissam.

ok, so this one was a little staged.

daphne focus.1

daphne focus.1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

during a focus for daphne.

cosi welding.2

cosi welding.2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

a late night call for some welding.

cosi welding.1

cosi welding.1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

crawling around on the cosi set.


whew.1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

hey, let's go to albuquerque and watch a baseball game. looks kinda stormy out. . . that storm? don't worry about that storm.


whew.3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

that really looks it's gonna be a tornado.