What We Did on Our Holiday

Sunday, August 11, 2019

What We Did on Our Holiday

Having escaped New York and spending the previous day with a bit of planning and prep (REI) for an upcoming safari, I took this Sunday night to chill the heck out and watch a movie.

I streamed “What We Did on Our Holiday” (Check Amazon Prime, but sidenote: Roku TV search is excellent when it comes to finding out WHERE to watch a particular movie.)

Short review: I super dooper enjoyed this movie. It’s a great family romp about life and marriage and kids and even the long view of things. Cheesy for some, perfect for me. It’ll probably most definitely bore the kids.

Here’s the trailer. I don’t think it really reveals the movie at all, and that is both a good and bad attribute. But if you are fine with the vibe you see there, you’ll probably REALLY like the movie, like I did.

Bonuses? Music by The Waterboys (a favorite song of theirs* outside of this movie) — plus performances by and David Tennant, Rosamund Pike and Billy Connolly.

* Room to Roam is Sooo GOOD

Same as the old new

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Thanks to the nostalgia fueled by things that are stranger, one could re-live the experience of New Coke.

It is the same as the old New Coke.

But I think the old New Coke didn’t have a can shaped like that… and some of the type feels off… and aluminum was shinier back then… and the printing was better…

See what I mean?

I eventually got home

Friday, August 9, 2019

I flew through Detroit to get there.

No LaGuardia, no

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Let’s bend elbows sometime and I’ll recount the long tale of trying to escape New York City through LaGuardia. In summary: I will use ever fiber of my being to avoid this particular airport until their construction is finished in the year 2030.

On the flip side? As soon as I found out my flight was cancelled I hightailed it to JFK so I could enjoy the benefits of a hotel on site.

The Jim Henson Exhibition

Thing to do in New York when waiting for your rescheduled flight? Visit The Jim Henson Exhibition permanently on display at the Museum of the Moving Image.

I didn’t realize Rowlf was originally for commercials…

That storyboard on the left above was mesmerizing to me. It distilled the magic of what Jim Henson and his team did into a tangible starting point.

Above is a model of a set for The Muppets Take Manhattan, with a false floor for the puppeteers.

Piggy. :)

Me trying out my hand in one of the interactive exhibits. (I think I could get the hang of this.)

The unexpected benefits of a cancelled flight

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Rushed through lunch and passed some CMYK toner along the way.

Rushed to the airport as the rain started to fall.

Flight was cancelled so I ordered a pizza. Chatted with Thor and found that he was going to see Hannah Gadsby that night. (If you haven’t seen her show Nanette, it’s incredibly moving and powerful.)

A few taps on my phone and I found a single ticket had been released at face value.


The new show of hers called Douglas is equally incredible.

The rain eventually stopped and the night was beautiful.

Finding the story

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

August 6, 2019 – The reason I was back in New York? There was an acquisition—an acknowledgement that two organizations together were something greater. (It can happen.)

The goal for this particular day was to find the essence of this union, and their combined future.

An early exercise was for the executives from each company to give a brief explanation of how they came to be at this particular table. (It’s really hard to summarize one’s life work in succinct fashion.)

As an outsider of sorts (I’m a design contractor), when it came to my time, I summed up my story as best I could in the shortest amount of time:


“My father was an engineer and an entrepreneur. He married a bohemian artist that loved to make things. Together? They had a designer.

I went to college to study cinematography, that program was cancelled it that year so I figured visual communication was close enough. I ultimately got a bachelor of science degree in design. Because it is science. And anyone can learn it.

Design is the science of art.*

Part of my education was in Switzerland, and that taught me minimalism. I like to joke that that means I do as little as possible, but really it’s about stripping away artifice and getting to the core of a message. A purpose.

And I’m happy to be here.”

We had a challenging day working through the history of the companies and had a great meal afterward. My only regret? It wasn’t a two day workshop. Because it’s nice to reflect on things and extend the discussion.

But work is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be time when we make it. And time is something we need to make.

*  I don’t know if I’d totally hang my hat on this statement as it stands, but it has some legs that could be stretched out.

The moments in between

Mom on a boat back from Celia Thaxter's garden

This snapshot was taken on the boat ride back from Appledore Island on July 23, 2011.

We had just spent the day exploring Celia Thaxter’s Garden, a tiny but dense plot of wildflowers meticulously maintained that mom had been hoping to visit for many years.

I hadn’t posted this particular photo when I shared more from trip, but it is among my favorite because mom’s intent is so clear, basking in the moment and savoring the day.

I thought about this image in the middle of a month-long expedition to South Africa I’ve just returned from.

The first part of the trip was spent exploring Kruger National Park.

Before an early morning bushwalk, our ranger and guide mentioned we might not see particular big game as animals tend to flee from folks walking on foot. He spoke deliberately, giving each sentence a moment to linger.

“Use all of your senses.” he said. “Be open to the small things.”

I had seen so much already. There were moments of elation catching wildlife along the way, learning about animal behaviors and the environment on the trail. There was even a solid shot of adrenaline as a young male elephant became very curious of our small group. (I have a torn handkerchief to prove it, as we ran for cover wrestling with a stickerbush along the way.)

There were challenges too—long, hot, exhausting days and cold nights, and unexpected rain that pelted our skin like needles.

And then there was the last night in the park. We were driving back from our evening bushwalk in an open air safari truck as the sun was going down.

I closed my eyes and thought of mom.

Warm strobes of light with blurred edges flashed between branches of trees—a hypnotic disco without music. The truck creaked and bounced while the temperature dipped noticeably as we rode down small valleys, replaced by a warm wall of air on each ascent.

I didn’t need to see that sunset, I could feel it and the moments in between.

And I was so very lucky.

(There are many, many photos from this trip, I’m still sorting… It’s actually September 26, 2019 as I write this, but I wanted to post a stopgap.)