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kyle cassidy

[ website | My Website ]
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[ archive | journal archive ]

Marie Antoinette [Mar. 5th, 2018|06:42 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Spectral Sessions: Don't You Forget About Me]

Did some photos for Marie Antoinette at Curio Theatre which plays until May 10, 2018. I've done a lot of theater photos over the years. It's always a joy working with actors, as opposed to CEO's or whoever else you're photographing who are always looking at their watches and grumbling. Actors are used to taking direction, and they know you're all working on the same thing. The tough thing is never the actors, it's always getting the time that you need set aside by the theater. For some reason a lot of theaters seem to take publicity photos as a necessary annoyance. So if you come in saying "I'd like four hours" you'll usually get shot down. So, being prepared and being mobile become really important. Have a shot list, try and make one that's easy to break down and move because you might not get all the actors in the order you'd expected. So while you're waiting for one, be prepared to do photos of others. Index cards with your shot lists help. Put what actors you'll need for each shot and in what costumes, fold the card in half when you've completed it.

Move fast.
Be decisive.
Be nice.
Be effusive with your praise.
Don't be afraid to let actors act, it's their job.
Make them look good.
Setup and takedown fast.
Don't skimp on people -- treat every actor like they're going to be world famous in 3 years, because some of them will be.




The King and Queen of France. You may clickenzee to embiggen.


You've probably seen this before. It's based on a photo by Regine Mahaux from Getty Images. It seemed the obvious thing to do going in to a play about Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. And from that initial place it seemed logical to follow that path for the rest of the photos, but I only had access to the stage for a brief period of time because it needed to be set for the play, so I'd already set up a studio elsewhere in the theater. This photo, once the actors were ready, only took about 2 minutes. We went over posing, Brian nailed the smile and we were off to the studio so the stage manager could get to work. Doors in 60 minutes.





Here's the kit I used. You may clickenzee to embiggen.


I used a Leica m240 and brought three lenses, a 28, 35, and a 50. I ended up only using the 35 and the 50. I wasn't sure how wide the set was going to be. The 28 vignettes around the edges more than the 35, so I was happy to be able to use the 35 on the first shot. I used the 50 and the 35 for everything else.





Whole cast vertical. You may clickenzee to embiggen.






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I've found it's always good to mix horizontals and verticals, because no matter what they tell you, some magazine is going to have a formatting request you didn't think you'd want.




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2017-2018 [Jan. 1st, 2018|12:09 pm]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

Every year since 1999 I've been taking a 2 second long self portrait that begins in the last second of one year and ends in the first second of the new year. 2017 turned into 2018 in the living room of our friends Alon & Arwin. You can find the others by going back through this blog.

I hope everyone has a very merry new year. trillian_stars and I have some things to look forward do and some things we're thankful for.




2017 becomes 2018.
You may clickenzee to embiggen!






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John Carpenter's Anthology [Nov. 16th, 2017|07:18 am]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |john carpenter: halloween]

Found out today that I have the back cover photo of John Carpenter's new album, Anthology.

John's on tour now check him out.





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Here they are rocking out Halloween live in LA on a youtube bootleg.





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The Yellow Wallpaper (Nov. 16-18 in Pennsylvania) [Nov. 8th, 2017|08:34 am]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

"There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will."
-- The Yellow Wallpaper

trillian_stars is performing her one-woman show of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's classic The Yellow Wallpaper this time at Anthony Wayne Mansion in Paoli, Pennsylvania) (link to Google map) Nov 16 - 18, 2017 at 7:00pm

She performed this last year at the Physick House in Philadelphia and each show was sold out. (There's a review of that here. Since then, the production has gotten somewhat more complicated with additional lighting effects and surprises. The show lasts about an hour. It's a ghost story and the best way to see it is in an audience of a very few, so you can be close to the action. The House at Historic Waynesboro could have been the house from the story which is what makes it so much better than seeing it in an ordinary theater. It's far out in the country, isolated from everything.





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The Yellow Wallpaper is the story of a woman imprisoned by her husband while suffering what at the time was called "hysteria". She's locked away in a horrid room in a beautiful house and kept from books and people and writing. When she begs her husband to end the "treatment" he takes her in her arms and calls her a "blessed little goose". At every corner she is ignored and diminished and stripped of any autonomy.

While this is happening, things begin to manifest themselves in the room in which she's been kept, and strange things unfold.


Time & Location

Nov 16 - 18, 2017 at 7:00pm - 10:00pm EST
Waynesborough Historic House, 2049 Waynesborough Rd, Paoli, PA 19301, USA



About The Event

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE
"There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me." So says the narrator in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Victorian masterpiece, The Yellow Wallpaper. This tale of psychological terror and feminist awakening comes to life in the Carriage House at Historic Waynesborough, as a woman suffering from "nervous depression" is kept in the country on medical rest by her husband, only to discover that there is something far more insidious lurking within the walls of her prison-like room".




Looked at in one way each breadth stands alone, the bloated curves and flourishes--a kind of "debased Romanesque" with delirium tremens--go waddling up and down in isolated columns of fatuity. -- But, on the other hand, they connect diagonally, and the sprawling outlines run off in great slanting waves of optic horror, like a lot of wallowing seaweeds in full chase. -- The whole thing goes horizontally, too, at least it seems so, and I exhaust myself in trying to distinguish the order of its going in that direction.
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The Yellow Wallpaper was written in 1892, but it's not any less important today. It's one of the early handclaps that lead to women's suffrage. I was happy to see such a glorious production in such a great space. The show opens Thursday November 16 and runs until the 18th. There aren't a lot of seats, so most of the shows will probably sell out so, getting your tickets ($22) in advance is a good idea.





It's possible to get there from Philly on public transportation. There's a bit of a walk at the end, which should leave you good and terrified on the way home wondering if something has escaped from the Wallpaper and is ... somewhere ... behind you.
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Hennepin has left the buildingf [Sep. 12th, 2017|07:02 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |gratefulgrateful]

Hennepin has left the building. She was a good cat and she was trillian_stars' friend for 17 years and mine for 10. We're grateful to Lap of Love hospice for making this thing as easy as it could possibly be. If you feel motivated, make a donation in her name to City Kitties, and help some other cat from the street find a person to give their whole, entire, best life to and make some other person this sad and this grateful 17 years from today.



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9/11 [Sep. 11th, 2017|06:29 pm]
kyle cassidy
My posts about 9/11 are now a sixteen years old. It's hard to think. And that I've had this blog for that long. There are three posts, one from the Pentagon the week of the attacks, one from the World Trade Center site, and one from Shanksville PA, slightly later. I think the thing I wonder most now, after all this, is if you could ask those hijackers now, "do you think you made things better?" What would they say?


You can read them here.
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dream [Jul. 9th, 2017|10:23 am]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Wait! Wait! ... Don't Tell me!]

I dreamed last night that a lawyer told me "If you accidentally kill someone, say that it happened during a seance, it will be easier for me to get you off."




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Dream [Jul. 6th, 2017|06:18 am]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |iron maiden: the trooper]

I had a dream last night that trillian_stars wanted me to steal a painting for her from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Which one?” i asked.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said, “I just can’t be with a person who isn’t willing to risk prison to be with me."

So she took me to the Met & I went inside, and through labyrinthine galleries, filled with paintings that I am now fairly certain aren’t in the Met. But there were security guards and people everywhere. Finally, I walked into a room with several very modern looking reclining couches in it, black and silver, the room was empty, and a wall jutted out preventing the security guards in the next room from seeing me — and on the other side of that wall, there was a painting, of Roswell, painted on a dried whole wheat pita. It was held onto the wall by three L shaped hooks. I slid it out and held the painted side face down, so people would think that I was just carrying food out. I went out a side door of the museum and trillian_stars was waiting for me there.

I gave her the pita.

“You stole the Mona Lisa!” she said excitedly when she saw it.

I knew it wasn’t the Mona Lisa but I didn’t want to say anything because I was afraid she'd realize it was just a painting of Roswell on a pita.

Later I woke up.





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Book Launch Party [Jul. 2nd, 2017|11:03 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Nick Cave: The Mercy Seat]

There's so much that happened here and really so little time to write it down -- this is more of a photo album with captions than a proper recap. Back in 2014, I'm sure you all know, I photographed some librarians in a viral photo essay for Slate called This is What a Librarian Looks Like. in the intervening years, I've photographed hundreds of librarians and had a book come out. Last week I went to my fifth American Library Association conference, not to photograph people, but to launch the book, which is very exciting. All those years of work get compressed into one singularity and when it's finally done, you get back all that joy that you missed every time you couldn't go out because you were working, or your couldn't go on vacation because you had a deadline, or you couldn't see your wife's play because you were photographing people in some faraway state.....




This is how it all begins. You may clickenzee to embiggen!



My book launch party, was sponsored by EveryLibrary which I think of as a sort of Amnesty International for libraries. They advocate for library funding, help communities inform voters, and help develop fundraising strategies. They'd rented the top floor of a bar called the Old Crow in Chicago and we'd developed a slide show of about 500 photos of librarians to play during the event, and around that, I spent three days signing copies of the book.

All the stars were assuredly aligned -- as I got off the plane people started texting to let me know that the Los Angeles Times book section had just printed a full page (and very positive) review of This is What a Librarian Looks Like.




LA Times! You may clickenzee to Embiggen!



Unique to this trip was that trillian_stars was able to come, on account of one of her rehearsals being cancelled. We got in on Friday morning and I went for a run through the city, along the lakefront, out to the WBEZ radio station and then back along up the river. Chicago really uses its waterfront very well. In philly we've got rivers and we have running trails along rivers, but we don't really have boat rides, convenient kayak rentals, places to stop and get an ice cream cone or waterfront breweries. On the one hand it's selfishly nice that I don't have to run past a bunch of tourists loping along, but on the other -- everybody should be enjoying this.

My first signing was in the evening. I got all suited up and headed out.




This is about half of the exhibit floor. Book stuff EVERYWHERE. You may clickenzee to Embiggen!



Ingram, the ginormous book distributor is kicking off a year of librarian programming and they'd set up a gigantic booth for me to sign books all weekend, and while I was signing, they were giving librarians an opportunity to continue telling their stories with a photo booth. You can see the photos they're shooting and printing out in the background (here's a closeup). This whole thing was the idea of Heidi Kantor, who works at Hachette (she's over on the right in the purple shirt talking to my publicist Betsy) it was an entire year in the making and it went beautifully.




My gigantic signing booth! Thanks Ingram! You may clickenzee to Embiggen!



This is Elizabeth Frailberg From Photographye3.com who Ingram got to do all the photos. She was super awesome.




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Ingram made this mailer to publicize the event -- this is the first time I saw it -- it's a fold out polaroid camera that shoots little prints from the book out. It was absolutely stunning.



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If the lines were long I didn't stop signing. All in all, I think I signed books for about seven hours. Betsy stood there the whole time setting up books, keeping people in line entertained, making sure I got where I needed to get on time, handing out cake and plotting with the media.




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Whenever I wasn't writing down my name I was carrying around an extra copy of the book because the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden was ... somewhere ... at the convention. People would sporadically post Twitter selfies with her "I met Dr. Hayden at the bar!" -- "I saw Dr. Hayden in an elevator!" they were calling them "unicorn sightings". I figured that if I didn't carry a copy of the book around, I'd certainly see her in the Walgreens or in the lobby of a hotel. I eventually did run into her at 9 am on Saturday morning. I said "I wrote this book--" and she cut me off

he Librarian of Congress: "Wait, are you Kyle?!? I actually bought your book. It's a wonderful book. It's on display behind my desk, in my office, next to my Nancy Pearl shushing-doll. I take it down every single day to show people all the things that librarians are doing around the country. In fact, I'm mentioning it in my speech today."

Me: "omg".

Librarian of Congress: "Give your info to my communications director, we'll talk.




Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. You may clickenzee to embiggen!



There's actually embarrassing video of me freaking out when she said that. And now we have plans for a Top Sekrit Projekt.

Anyway.

I signed books on Saturday and then we snuck out to a quick lunch with novelist Anne Gross, her first novel, The Conjured Woman, which I'm reading now, is a fictional book about real life historical tarot card reader, Mademoiselle Lenormand, who is working for Napoleon and attempts to create a golem to do the Emperor's bidding but somehow ends up dragging a hard partying nurse from 21st century Arizona into the past. I'm on chapter five -- after awakening in the 1800's our heroine escapes what she believes to be kidnappers but is distracted by a bar 15 feet down the road and spends three pages trying to find someone to buy her a drink instead of continuing to escape. It's kind of like Outlander but with a protagonist who spends a lot of time swilling gin and punching people.



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Anne Gross, you may clickenzee to Embiggen!



We stopped in at the Ingram books party which was on the 99th floor of the Willis Tower and had some amazing views of the city. You could also go UP one more floor and then stand on a glass deck with the city under your feet. (NopeNopeNopeNope)

We met a bunch of cool people there like Librarian Steve from Circulating Ideas and Peter Straub's buddy Brad Morrow signing a massive stack of books.




The 99th floor. You may clickenzee to embiggen!


We left the Ingram party for our party -- which turned out to be the most awesome book launch party you could possibly imagine.




On the way to the book release party. Dress by Heartless Revival. You may clickenzee to embiggen!






My book launch party. Wow. You may clickenzee to embiggen!






My book launch party. Wow. You may clickenzee to embiggen!



Here's Peter Sagal, trillian_stars and Librarian Steve from the Circulating Ideas podcast (you can listen to Steve's interview with me here.




At the book launch. You may clickenzee to embiggen!



Emil Ferris, author of My Favorite Thing is Monsters was there.



Peter, Emil Ferris and me. You may clickenzee to embiggen us!




It was great seeing people from the book. Some of them I only met for, literally, 60 seconds three years ago and their images have been frozen in time, but others (like Ingrid) have been working on this with me the whole time. Ingrid's now who you see when you google "what does a librarian look like?" which is thanks in large part to Slate who picked her photo to lead the original viral photo essay.




At the book launch. You may clickenzee to embiggen!



Over the weekend I tried to get as many people as I could to sign my book. here, and here, and here

We stayed up laaaaate after the party hanging out with Singer / Songwriter Molly Robison then getting up insanely early to sign books.

Look at me ma, I'm on TV! With Rebecca Miller from Library Journal talking about library advocacy and ways to outreach to communities and politicians about libraries.



Library Journal interview. You may clickenzee to embiggen!



I was on some ALA programming too, basically just talking about the book and then signing it, it was really the only time I got off of the exhibit floor. We met some cool people including Craig Grossi and Fred, Craig is a U.S. Marine and Fred is the stray dog he rescued in Afghanistan and brought back to the U.S., and Nate Pederson author of Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways To Cure Everything




Non fiction panel. You may clickenzee to embiggen!



I plotted with Adam and Jill at Overdrive, the digital library app, on a new project.

On Sunday I signed the last book, Elizabeth took the last photo, my last event was "Champaign and Cake" in the ALA lounge, I signed books and posters and plotted with ALA past president Maureen Sullivan on yet another project,
got in a good talk with Gordon about new book projects and I headed home. I'm grateful that so many people have believed so strongly in this idea for so long. Particularly my agent, the magical Gordon Warnock at Fuse Literary, my editor Becky Koh and publicist Betsy Hulsebosch as well as Heidi Kantor at Hachette, Ingram who have invested two years of their time and money into this, and all the librarians who do this amazing work every single day, fighting to get people access to information.




That's a wrap! You may clickenzee to embiggen! I think my head looks really small in this photo.



Sorry all the people and things I left out.




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Cooking with Roswell [Jun. 18th, 2017|12:03 pm]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |The Kitchen]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Nick Cave: The Mercy Seat (still)]

trillian_stars has rehearsal all this week for her new show at the Constitution Center so Roswell and I are using the opportunity to get back in the kitchen.

We wanted to be able to make some bulk things that she could pack for lunch (and possibly dinner) every day -- things that invite grazing in between scenes and that will mix well with other things and also things that are served cold and make you think of being cool (since it's really hot out).

Yesterday we cooked about three pounds of dried chickpeas in the slow cooker and today we mixed that with avocado, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, shredded carrots and some fresh dill. For some reason, dill seems to make things seem summery.

Now we are off to fix the dehumidifier.

How's your day been?





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Roswell inspected! You may Clickenzee to Embiggen!

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Trillian Stars reads at Bloomsday [Jun. 17th, 2017|12:06 pm]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |Dublin of the Mind]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Nick Cave: The Mercy Seat]

Bloomsday, is of course, June 16th, the day that James Joyce's Ulysses takes place where the heroes or anti heroes wander around Doublin basically doing nothing interesting all day except getting in trouble with the U.S. board of censors.

Each year in Philadelphia at the Rosenbach museum where the manuscript of Ulysses exists, a group of celebrities is assembled and they read passages from the book for about ten hours. This year trillian_stars was one of those celebrities.





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It was a star studded literary event -- Samuel R. Delany, the closest thing Philly has to a living James Joyce was there, and behind him Novelist Michael Swanwick and publisher Marianne Porter. I had been kicking around the idea of reading Ulysses for years but this made me realized that if I'm going to read an impossible novel, I should read Dhalgren instead.




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Michael Swanwick read right after Trillian.




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Trillian got a little overly familiar with Joyce.




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Chip Delany with his assistant Bill on their way off into the world.




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I had a swell time at Bloomsday, though by the time I actually stopped listening to the reading and decided to go into the museum and see the manuscript of Dracula, it had closed. So ... back another day.






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This is Not a Fitness Blog & the Title of This Blog Post is Conspicuously Hidden in the Post [May. 10th, 2017|10:11 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |metallica: moth to a flame]

I started writing this blog post at mile 7 of the 10 mile Broad Street Run and it had two possible titles:

1) This is the 5th year since I decided not to be fat that i've been stronger and faster every year

and

After 5 years, I've finally gotten old, and slower, and that's ok.

These were actually both juggling in my head as I ran behind Duc and Alon who'd both given up their own Broad Street Run goals in exchange for helping me beat my 2016 time of 1:17:45.

I'd plotted out a pace, with a razor thin margin of victory -- meaning that I'd have to run a mile every 7 minutes and 40 seconds, and there was no option for slowing down -- this pace COULD NOT CHANGE.

But at mile 7 your brain starts to try and make deals with you. Because, and this might be new information for some of you, running hurts -- if you've never run because you think it hurts, IT HURTS EXACTLY AS MUCH AS YOU THINK IT DOES. Running is unpleasant, it's painful, it's awful and, as far as I can tell, there is no runner's high, BUT when it's done, there's a euphoria I cannot hope to ever explain.

Things were, as I described them to my pacers, Alon & Duc, challenging from the first mile. The pace of 7:40 minutes per mile was unpleasant, but only slightly, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep it up for 10 miles.

When the gun went off hundreds of people in our corral shot past us in ostentatious hopes of fast time -- this happens at every race -- you feel great at the beginning and you go out too fast only to detonate somewhere before the finish and limp across the line at the end like a chastised schoolboy ... but we knew our pace from the beginning and we stuck to it. Alon & Duc ran like machines -- right in front of me, they ran at 7:40 minutes per mile and all I had to do was stare at their backs, which said "it's a running jawn" -- the motto of the West Philly Runners. All I had to do was stare at that. And not quit. They'd do all the rest.

35 pounds ago
In 2012 I saw a photo of myself in a newspaper and realized I'd gotten a lot heavier than I was pretending that I was and there was no way I could pretend anymore that it hadn't happened. I joined the gym, I lost a lot of weight and, far more importantly, I joined my local running club. They'd not judged me when I ran incredibly slowly, they'd waited 45 minutes after they'd all finished, for me to complete a race, and cheered me over the finish line, and now, two of them had given up their own race to make sure that I crossed the finish line in a time faster than the one I'd done last year.

I stayed mostly silent when they spoke to me, possibly nodding, possibly not, sometimes gasping an answer like "keep pace" when they'd ask "should we speed up? we look good."

I knew that former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell was probably at mile 6. The Governor (and also former mayor) usually hangs out in front of the Bellvue hotel, hi-5ing runners as they go past. I'd hi-5ed him every year before and I started thinking in my head "I've hi-5ed Ed Rendell every year that I've PR'd ("Personal Record" -- the fastest time you'd ever run) at Broad Street" and thinking, like your brain does, that if he wasn't there, I could use this as an excuse to slow down. This is how your brain works when you're doing things this unpleasant. There is a constant battle between "I can do this" and "I can slow down".

trillian_stars shouted my name as we got to city hall and I waved and felt a surge of energy and, sure enough, out in front of the Bellvue a block later, there was the Governor. I held out my hand as I ran past and he slapped a power-up on it. One excuse shot down, and six miles behind me.

By mile 7 I was starting to seriously lag behind Alon & Duc. I've noticed, watching a lot of races, that there seems to be a rubber band behind people who start to fall off from the front of the pack -- if it stretches too tight, it breaks and they can never pull their way back. I was worried that I was getting to that distance -- so I'd fight back, maintain, and then, inevitably, start to fall back again. At mile 8 Alon and Duc started seriously, vocally, encouraging me, saying "Mile 8 is the hardest, psychologically, just get through this and it's all better, just get through this." -- over and over -- I stayed with them and it was true -- mile 8 was awful -- it wasn't the easy first part of the race, and it wasn't the end -- it was the horrible middle -- it seemed interminable and, horrible -- but eventually, it ended, but just at the beginning of mile 9 my stomach started to heave -- this was my body saying "I am done, you need to stop this nonsense" I coughed, once, twice, three times -- my body, annoyed by what I was doing was seriously threatening to toss my cookies if I didn't slow down. But I was approaching the end of that rubber band again. This was seriously the moment and I started composing this blog post in my head.

These played in a loop and I decided I would be incredibly sad to have to write the second one, so I surged ... and puked ... vomit just came up ... I aimed my head down and splashed water an Gatorade between my feet, rather than to the side, because I didn't want to barf on an innocent person just running a race. One, two, three times. I puked. Mostly water. By then I'd caught up and Alon looked over his shoulder, "How are you doing?" he asked. "Puking ..." I gasped. "We'll pull over to the side!" he said. "No, no," I waved him off, "I already did it."

He didn't ask any questions and we charged ahead. Every step was a difficult decision to slow down or keep going but Alon & Duc kept turning around and waving at me to catch up to them, and I knew, finally, that I could probably do it. We were at the wire, but it was possible if I ran my guts out. The last mile was freaking horrible.

I promised myself I'd sprint the last quarter mile but when the last quarter mile came, there was no sprint left in me. It was a quarter of a mile that lasted for an hour; it felt like I just kept getting moved back to the beginning every 10 yards. I lifted my head as we finally approached the finish line, trying to at least look like I wasn't dying. Only in the final 30 feet did it seem like this horror would end. There was no runner's high. It was just freaking awful.

And then it was done.

I beat my previous time by a minute. Our final pace was 7:35 / mile, which seemed to me to count as "very fast".

I'm grateful for this running club filled with people who do this; who stick with you to help you make yourself better, who give up their races for you, who encourage and mentor and make sure your blog post doesn't have to begin with defeat.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating; if losing weight is your goal, then I think you're doomed to fail, because once you've done it, there's no reason to continue. If you want to lose weight, you need to find a lifestyle that weight loss is a byproduct of. At least that's what worked for me. ymmv.

I walked, alone in the world, for a long time, past people, I remember ... someone gave me a bag of ice that I put on my neck and that felt good ... someone gave me a bottle of water that I poured over my head ... someone gave me a bag of food ... and then at the and of a chute was a woman holding a medal ... she put it over my head ... "you look like an angel" I said, and it was all I could see ... past her the world started to come into focus again and ... in front of me there were people from my running club ... we'd finished in the top 25% of the race and the banks of port-a-potties with no lines were our reward. We collapsed on the ground, ate our bananas and our pretzels and our potato chips and looked at one another's medals and, already, the pain of the actual race had already left us, and all we were left with was the incredible feeling of accomplishment.

We had come.
We had run.
We had run fast.
We had bested the pain.
We had survived.
We had finished.

And me ... five years later ... after I had lost 35 pounds, I had kept it off, despite the naysayers, and I was fitter, stronger, and faster ... EVERY ... FREAKING ... YEAR ... and I have let NO ONE down. And next year ... I will be even better.

And you too. Go for it. Puke if you need to, but don't slow down.
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Lighting Workshop! Philadelphia! [Mar. 13th, 2017|07:12 am]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |R.E.M. covers]

Hi folks -- I'm teaching a workshop on lighting modifiers in April in Philadelphia (finally). We're going to be testing a whole bunch of different lighting modifiers, shoot thru umbrellas, reflective umbrellas, softboxes large & small, grids and various home-made things we makeup on the fly mimicking real-world studio lighting situations. If you have three photo umbrellas but you're not sure what the difference between them is, this is the workshop for you. If you can't figure out what kind of lighting modifiers to get, this is the workshop for you. If you're about to embark on an ambitious project and aren't sure how to light it, this is the workshop for you.

Contact Mike Vanhelder to sign up or with additional questions. Seating is limited, first come first serve. $100 for the whole day. Possible Roswell petting involved.





Clickenzee to Embiggen this flyer!

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American Library Association Midwinter 2017 Signing Schedule! [Jan. 20th, 2017|11:35 am]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |ozzy: bark at the moon]

Hey folks! I've got three signings this weekend at the American Library Association's Midwinter Convention in Atlanta Georgia. I'm doing two signings on Saturday and one on Sunday. I'm also the guest photographer for Librarian Wardrobe, follow them on Twitter (@libwardrobe) for info on how to find me to get your photo taken for their blog.

I'll be signing "This is What a Librarian Looks Like" posters and BLAD's (Book Layout & Design -- it's basically an excerpt from the book) and I'll have an advance copy of the book with me if you want to stop by and see if you're in it.

See you soon.

Saturday, January 21

10:00 am Baker & Taylor booth signing booth #1326

3:00 pm Hachette Book Group booth signing booth #1804 shortly before 3pm.

Sunday, January 22

11:00 am Hachette Book Group booth signing at the Hachette Book Group booth #1804











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Top Sekrit Projket Photographing Thingz [Jan. 18th, 2017|05:03 am]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |ozzy osbourne: ultimate sin]

On assignment for Top Sekrit Magazine photographing Top Sekrit Person for an upcoming issue. Here's what I packed, if you're interested.

The assignment is photograph one person in a multiple of situations, some casual and others posed from closeup to wide with horizontals and verticals in a place that might not be very interesting.

So I'm packing the Leica M10 with a Voigtlander 50mm f1.5, the Leica M9 with a Voigtlander 28mm f2, a Voigtlander 21mm and finder, a Leica 90mm f2.8 and some lighting equipment, the cheapest flash I could find that has a manual mode and a PC sync, a pair of pocket wizards and a small double collapsing umbrella, notebook & pen with all the appropriate contact info written down on it. (Not pictured, a small light stand)

It all fits in a small camera bag and I'm covered from ultra wide to medium telephoto. I suspect I'll probably use the 28 and the 50 the most and will probably just end up leaving them on the camera.

Think I'm missing something? Let me know.

See you at the airport.





My kit, you may Clickenzee to Embiggen







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2 second self portrait. [Jan. 2nd, 2017|04:44 pm]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Prince: (Party like it's 1999)]

In 1999 I took a self portrait that began just before the stroke of midnight and ended just after it -- the last second of 1999 and the first second of 2000. I'd spent my whole teenage years wondering what it would be like to party like it was 1999 (I was dressed as William the Conqueror at a costume party, that's how we did it) -- anyway. I've done that every year since. This is my 17th in a series of self portraits that span two years.

We had plans to go out but our cat, Hennepin, wasn't feeling well and we didn't want to leave her. So we just hung out with her in the bedroom, watched a movie on the iPad & went to bed. It was a pretty nice New Years.

With trillian_stars




2016 turns into 2017. Clickenzee to Embiggen.







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Hopeless, Maine [Dec. 26th, 2016|11:36 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

Hi everybody -- Tom and Nimue Brown have a beautiful new Hopeless, Maine book out and they're on a blog tour, so I'll let them talk about their steampunky, Lenorish, dark magic fantasy a little, and you can get the book here.





Hopeless Things
Hopeless is a strange, gothic island off the coast of Maine, cut off from the rest of reality for the greater part. Hopeless Maine is also a graphic novel series, the peculiar child of Tom and Nimue Brown. Here’s a little taste of island life.





Drury. Drury is the remains of a dead dog with all the enthusiasm of a live one. He’s a one off, and his existence in his current condition remains something of a mystery. Being in essence a dog, Drury experiences no existential angst whatsoever and carries on digging, scratching, fetching, and chewing just as he did in his former life. He’s not quite reconciled yet to his inability to wee on trees, but it’s a small setback in an otherwise happy existence. For reasons that Drury has never understood, his bounding doggy enthusiasm isn’t as popular with people as it used to be.
Cooking instructions: To date, there have been seven separate attempts to cook Drury in the hopes he’d make a soup base. He won’t, he just doesn’t sit still in the saucepan for long enough.
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Behind the Scenes: Uncle Vanya [Dec. 19th, 2016|07:46 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Eliza Rickman]

Uncle Vanya is a play by Anton Chekov, it's going to run February 9 to March 5, 2017 at the Hedgerow Theatre. This week I photographed the poster for it. This is the behind the scenes.




Camera gear. You may clickenzee to Embiggen!



Gear for this was a Leica M10 with a Voightlander 50mm 1.5, and a Lumix GX1 backup, just in case, a Photek Softligher II, the giant 63 inch one, a flash and two pocket wizards to trigger them.

The scene itself -- it's always hard with a play that doesn't have a set yet. I knew the scene I wanted to do, Vanya, actually fires Checkov's pistol at a rival. But there are two shots, the first if off stage, so why not have it be outside? The makeup of the shot is based largely on what actors you can get. I'd stick everyone in there I could -- but as it turns out, only two people were available. Which made staging simpler.

I found some suitable woods, drug the actors out there and set up my lights. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to it didn't take long.




Will Vanya hit his target? Clickenzee to Embiggen!



See a slow motion video of this shot being made:



Enjoy Uncle Vanya!




A slightly funnier one -- Vanya is a comedy. You may Clickenzee to Embiggen!












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TOP SEKRIT NO LONGER! Librarian Book! [Dec. 5th, 2016|07:21 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

The big news is, This is What a Librarian Looks Like is a book, it's been announced this morning in Publisher's Weekly. You can pre-order it from amazon here. It's been a difficult secret to keep for these past seven months while everybody wondered what the heck I was doing and I kept racing off places, furtively. My agent, Gordon Warnock sold it to Black Dog & Leventhal, an imprint of Hachette. It's transformed a lot since our initial proposal, very much for the better. It now includes a very long essay from me about my journey across America meeting librarians, profiling several of them, including this librarian who loans out dolls that many of you helped to get more dolls when I posted about her. And it's got essays about libraries from George R. R. Martin, Jude Freaking Deveraux, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Peter Sagal, Nancy Pearl, Paula Poundstone, Amy Dickinson, Jeff Vandermeer and others. On top of that it's got something like 200 of the 350 portraits and interviews I did with librarians over the past two years.

"Becky Koh of Hachette’s Black Dog & Leventhal imprint bought world rights to THIS IS WHAT A LIBRARIAN LOOKS LIKE by author and photographer, Kyle Cassidy, based on his viral Slate photo essay of the same name. In addition to over 200 librarians from all 50 states and Canada, top writers, journalists, and commentators share their thoughts on the institution’s role in today’s society, including Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Nancy Pearl, Cory Doctorow, Paula Poundstone, Amanda Palmer, Peter Sagal, Jeff VanderMeer, John Scalzi, Jude Deveraux, Amy Dickinson, and others. A forthcoming documentary film will be narrated by Neil Gaiman. Hardcover publication is scheduled for May, 2017 to coincide with The American Library Association’s Libraries Transform campaign and EveryLibrary’s Year of the Librarian campaign. Gordon Warnock of Fuse Literary represented Cassidy."




Clickenzee to pre-order!



It's a big, beautiful thing currently being printed and you'll hear about it more over the next months. The publication date is May 17th, 2017. I'll be at the American Library Association Conventions, both Midwinter and Annual talking about it.

Thanks so much to all the librarians who are fighting this fight, and the ones who took time out to tell me their stories -- especially Ingrid Abrams and Naomi Gonzalez without whom it wouldn't have happened. Also my agent Gordon Warnock at Fuse Literary and my editor Becky Koh at Black Dog.

All of the Alexandria is Still Burning Kickstarter backers get a special shout out. The Gallery show & the documentary will commence shortly, this is why things were cryptically on hold.

If you're in the book you'll be getting an email in the next few months from someone on the PR team about how we can help you use it to bring attention to your library and what you do. That's all for now. Questions? In the comments.





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My Philcon Schedule [Nov. 16th, 2016|07:34 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |The King: Sympathy for the Devil]

I'll be at Philcon this weekend 11/19-11/20 -- come see me! I'm doing four panels, a workshop and a reading / autograph session. And freaking CHIP DELANY is going to be on one of them with me. Also SUNDAY at NOON is my workshop on authors headshots -- if you need a headshot or if you want to learn how to do them, this is for you.


Sat 4:00 PM in Plaza VI (Six) (1 hour)
REMEMBERING DAVID HARTWELL (2406)

[Panelists: David M. Axler (mod), Samuel R. Delany, Kyle Cassidy, Grant Carrington, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Michael J. Walsh]

A celebration of the life and achievements of one of the genre's greatest figures


Sat 7:00 PM in Plaza IV (Four) (1 hour)
SEEING THE WILD: ANIMAL PHOTOGRAPHY, ART, AND CONSERVATION (2470)

[Panelists: Alan Beck (mod), Kyle Cassidy, Lisa Hertel]

Does using the newest photo technology to take pictures of wild animals in their natural habitat help or hinder conservation efforts? How are new techniques for studying behavior and raising public awareness impacting the subjects being focused on


Sat 9:00 PM in Plaza II (Two) (1 hour)
PENNSYLVANIA WEIRD (2440)

[Panelists: Darrell Schweitzer (mod), Mary Spila, W. Randy Hoffman, Jeff Young, Kyle Cassidy]

Let's explore science fiction and fantasy either set in or about the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania


Sun 11:00 AM in Plaza III (Three) (1 hour)
MARKETING MULTI-GENRE WORKS (2418)

[Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail (mod), Kyle Cassidy, Tee Morris, Elizabeth Crowens]

With all the slipstream and mash-up fiction being published, where do you draw the lines between genres? Who is publishing works that fall under multiple sub-genres? And how do you write and successfully market stories that don't fit standard expectations


Sun 12:00 PM in Plaza VI (Six) (1 hour)
HOW TO TAKE HEADSHOTS FOR AUTHOR BIOS (2649)

[Panelists: Kyle Cassidy (mod)]

Need to update the picture on your website's About page? Want the perfect photo for the dust jacket of your latest novel? Just interested in learning the basics of portrait photography? Photographer Kyle Cassidy will teach you how to find the best angles for yourself and others. (If you have a camera, please bring it along!


Sun 2:00 PM in Executive Suite 623 (1 hour)
READINGS: KYLE CASSIDY AT 2PM & PETER PRELLWITZ AT 2:30PM (2689)

[Panelists: Kyle Cassidy (mod), Peter Prellwitz]










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run run run [Nov. 14th, 2016|06:48 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

trillian_stars and I did the 5k Gobble Wobble race to help the Woodlands cemetery (where suffragette Mary Grew is buried). It was perfect racing weather. We unexpectedly won -- not the whole race, but a prize and we worked on a Top Sekrit Project after, in conjunction with the cemetery which might turn into something awesome. Or not. Who knows at this point.

Getting ready to start.



Clickenzee to embiggen




There was a turkey luring in the cemetery.



Clickenzee to embiggen




The sprinting in action.




Clickenzee to embiggen



We won a cake.




Clickenzee to embiggen








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Mary Grew & Trillian Stars [Nov. 8th, 2016|08:18 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

There's a suffragette buried in West Philly not far from our house. Her name was Mary Grew and she worked her entire life to end slavery and get women the right to vote. Unfortunately she died 20 years before the 19th amendment. trillian_stars wanted to leave her "I voted" sticker there today after we voted. So we made a placard (to discourage other people from putting their stickers right on the stone which is in bad enough shape already)




Trillian. You may clickenzee to embiggen.



She's buried in Section C, Plot 566. It's a marble tombstone with almost all the writing eroded off of it under the largest three trees in that section.




Trillian. You may clickenzee to embiggen.







Trillian. You may clickenzee to embiggen.



The lines were pretty long at the polling place. We got there at 6:50, but were out by 7:11 and at the cemetery by 7:30.




Trillian. You may clickenzee to embiggen.



The cemetery had predicted people might come out and had erected some message boards and signs about her.




Trillian. You may clickenzee to embiggen.



Mary Grew famously said "what is woman going to do with the ballot? I don't know; I don't care; and it is of no consequence. The right to the ballot does not rest on the way in which they vote."

So however you voted, if you voted, I'm sure she'd be proud. And if you happen to walk past her grave today, leave your sticker on the placard, not on her stone.




Trillian. You may clickenzee to embiggen.








The easiest thing to do is follow the path to the mansion, then go around behind. The road bends deeply to the south, and then comes back up north and east to a point. She's in the area between the furthest south bend and the point, under three giant trees.






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This is not a fitness blog: but I just found out what happens if you go for 3 months w/o training [Sep. 30th, 2016|11:23 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

2016 was a banner year for me, fitnesswise. At least the first part of it. There wasn't a personal record that I didn't break. I ran, by far, my fastest 5K, I knocked a huge ball of time off of my 10 mile time and, in February, I crushed my half marathon time, and PR'd with 1:44:45, which, without looking up numbers, is something like five minutes off my previous best. I was on top of the world.

And then the summer came and it was awful and every time I was supposed to run, I'd open the front door, get blasted by the wet furnace and go back inside and eat a taco instead.

After massive successes, it's nice to take a bit of time off, but I took the entire summer off. Early in the year I was thinking that I'd be able to break my PR again at the Rock and Roll Half in September, all I'd have to do was keep training like the beast I'd become.

Oh well.

As it turns out I went into Rock and Roll not having run a race since I smashed Broad Street in April. I had no idea what pace I'd be capable of but decided to stick with the Two Hour pace group, which is a 9 minute pace. I'd done the Love Run at 7:59.

It was a warm, muggy day. Really muggy. Which didn't bode well. And when we went out of the blocks, the pace group immediately got stuck behind some slow people. (In big races hundreds, or thousands of people wildly overestimate their paces and even with staggered starts, the first mile is often just trying to get around people who put themselves in a far too ambitious corral) I was worried that if I ran too slowly at first I wouldn't have enough to make it up in the end -- If we ran a 9:30 the first mile, I'd have to run an 8:30 somewhere else to make it up and that sounded bad. So I left the pace group. And by mile 6 I was about a minute and a half in front of them (I know this because I saw them at an out-and-back) and things were going really well, I thought I might be able to do a 1:55, which would be really great. By mile 8 they'd gotten a bit less well, and by mile 10 things were terrible. I had to fight to keep my head up and every step was a constant battle to keep from stopping. There's a loud voice in your head saying You can end this pain right now! You can walk for a bit! There's no shame in walking! but even when the race isn't important, quitting is bad -- it has a catastrophic and cascading effect because you've allowed quitting to be possible -- once you've done it, you can never again be the person who's never quit. That's the other voice. I figured that as long as I could still possibly make it in sub 2:00 I'd have to keep pushing, even thought I didn't have much push. I slowed down a lot and started losing all the time I'd banked but I kept willing myself to go faster. It was all I could do in mile 13 to speed up to 9:13 from the 9:30 I'd run in mile 12 and as I finally saw the finish line up ahead I was starting to lose my peripheral vision. Trillian had come out to watch and although I knew where she should be, I couldn't see her, despite passing within a foot of her. I figured I'd just run as hard as I could and if I blacked out and fell over, I'd at least get a good photo as medics dragged me across the finish line, or, possibly better yet, I insisted on crawling while they hovered over me with an IV bag.

I don't really remember it ending but when trillian found me a few minutes later I was starting to feel better. It was, I think, the toughest race I've ever run, at least at the end.

I finished in 1:59:13.

That's what happens if you stop training and spend the summer eating junk food.

But. I did it. I'm back. I'll get fast again. Tomorrow is another day.










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What do you fight a ghost with? [Sep. 26th, 2016|10:45 pm]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |amtrak: 85 mph through the heartland]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Amanda Palmer; Smile]

So, I’m staying at Amanda Palmer’s house, and it’s big, and we’re both on slightly different schedules, so I’m here alone a lot, in the SpookyHouse doing Top Sekrit Things (that are not Top Sekrit if you are part of her patreon) and this afternoon I go back to the house and I notice there’s a towel laying on the floor in my bathroom where I didn’t leave one. And I realize that it’s a folded towel that was on a shelf when I left. It’s just jumped two feet to the floor. And I’m really puzzled. And then I notice that there are two rolls of toilet paper laying on their sides that were previously stacked up. And then I notice a washcloth also on the floor.

Was there an earthquake??? I think.

Then this is starting to freak me out. I start to notice stuff all over the place that’s been moved slightly or has fallen over. There’s a trail of magazines spilled out of piles and sofa cushions that weren’t where they were….

Is Amanda doing this? Why would Amanda do this? She wouldn’t do this. She’d leave half a banana on the kitchen counter, or a teabag in the sink, but she wouldn’t pull out three National Geographic’s and shove them into a boot.

It’s a goddamn ghost! I think. I’m staying in a freaking haunted house! Something has come up from the spooky basement and moved things around. Not a lot, but everything’s just a bit off from where it was.

So then I'm all like What do you fight a ghost with? You can swing a baseball bat a ghost all you want and it's just going to shoot ectoplasm at you or crawl out of your TV and scare you to death or whatever. Like you need to call an exorcist or something, or solve the riddle of it's untimely death or whatever.

And I’m seriously worried for like five minutes, wandering around the house looking at all the stuff that moved until I realize that there’s a baby living in the house and that they crawl around and knock stuff over and shove fistfulls of oatmeal into your socks. This is, in fact, their job.

This is how my brain works.





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Conversations with famous writers [Aug. 24th, 2016|06:01 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |some band covering Swedish pop sensation Kent]

Me: So, I know you're writing, but are you reading anything interesting now?

Famous Writer: Funny you should mention that. Someone came up to me in a signing line the other day and said "X is my favorite book of yours." and I said, "That's nice, but I don't have a book called X. And she said "Yes you do, it's my favorite book, I've read it 40 times." And after the signing was over I got my Kindle out and went to Amazon, just out of curiosity, and sure enough, there was a book by me called X that I have absolutely no memory of writing, so I bought it and I've been reading that for the past few days and it's actually quite good."







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Dear Magic Hotel! NYC & Wisconsin [Aug. 11th, 2016|12:49 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |queensryche]

Hi folks! Two Magic Hotel requests --

trillian_stars is in Macbeth (again) in New York and she's looking for a sofa to crash on tomorrow night (august 12, 2016) after rehearsal so that she doesn't need to sleep in the theater.




From the original production. You may clickenzee to embiggen!



SECONDLY, I'm going to be in Franklin Wisconsin at some point in the next couple months to do one photo. Anybody in the area? Looking for a driver & photo assistant for Top Sekrit Projekt. It will be exciting.

rock on!





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louYou Got Me Singing - The Album Cover Photo: Behind the Scenes [Jul. 17th, 2016|04:38 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |peter yates: soundtrack for a breakdown]

So ... a few months ago Amanda Palmer texted me & asked if I could do the album cover for a new album of covers she was doing with her dad, Jack. She wanted it (for complex reasons) to look like this Bob Dylan album cover:





And, (for complex reasons) we had access to the actual set from that photo shoot. Including a lot of the props. I spent a lot of time in the days before studying the original photo and trying to deconstruct how it was done. But when we got there, Neil had done a lot of research already about the type of camera and the light effects and had compiled stories from many of the people who were there on the set. It really was remarkable. I had initially thought that the blurry circle was added as a second exposure, something that Neil agreed with but in an interview the photographer denied. After spending a lot of time with it, I think it actually was a single, long exposure with the camera rotated during it. Camera starts at 10:00, shutter opens, camera rotation begins, when camera gets to 10:30 flash is fired, camera keeps rotating until it's at the 11:00 position and the shutter closes. Most of my evidence from this is from the lit candle in the upper left and the lamp shade right under it.

In any event. I did mine in two exposures because it was easier that way.




You Got Me Singing album cover. Bob Dylan was once right in this spot.
You may clickenzee to EmPalmerize



It's a bit maddening how difficult it is to get all the right angles and placement when you have the original right there in front of you. trillian_stars doubted my placement of the chaise lounge and in retrospect she was correct.

I lit it with one light behind an umbrella off to the side.

It took about 30 minutes of shooting to redo the cover photo and after that we did some publicity shots and played with the baby. (Trillian played with the baby, I just waved at him mostly. He smiled. Ash is a happy baby.) (Here's one of the publicity shots in a video for one of the songs.)




Outtake from publicity photos. I think this one got nixed for being "too arty".
But you may Clickenzee to EmArten.



Amanda, Trillian, Jack and Me. Jack is actually a stupendously charming guy. He's one of those people you meet and you're like instant friend. I hadn't met him before, though over the past 15 years or whatnot I've met Amanda's sister and her mother. Amanda spent about 40 minutes explaining her family tree, which is convoluted and I'm still not sure how anyone is related to one another, but Jack is a great guy and during some of the publicity photo shoots he sang and played guitar and I got goosebumps. So, there's that.





Setting up the scene you can see my high tech lighting system here -- on small shoot thru umbrella with a voice activated light stand. It was pretty simple. I used a 28mm lens and a Leica M9, triggered with Pocket Wizards. I'm trying to do everything with the Leica now because it's just so much smaller than the Nikon and I find myself thinking "what on earth am I going to do with a 36 megapixel file?" You can see that pile of things on the chez that Amanda picked out as being important. They range from magazines to influential records to a dalek. (Is dalek capitalized? You would't capitalize "lion" but you would "Parisian"... Ellen Datlow would know.) The 28mm was just barely wide enough to get the shot that I needed, and I ran out of room, I had to press the camera on the back wall -- I couldn't look through the viewfinder or put it on a tripod. I was actually facing the wall, holding the camera up against it, trying not to get my shoulder in the shot (it was in a bunch of them) while Neil helped to make Ash smile -- not that he's not always smiling. So we banged away at it for a while and it was done and we opened a bottle of wine. Like you do.





If you know me at all, you know that my favorite band ever was the 80's Goth Rock juggernaut The Fields of the Nephilim -- a few months before their guitar player, Peter Yates had posted a blog about how their record company had screwed them out of their profits. I sent it to Amanda, she reposted it because she knows that Sh!t is Real and Amanda & Peter met because of it and ... hopefully they're working on a collaboration now -- this might be my greatest contribution to the history of humanity. Here are Amanda & I talking about musicians, record companies, and how you stay relevant (along with a copy of Elizium, which is my favorite FOTN album. (You can buy a copy of it here.))



I discovered the Fields of the Nephilim while working in a bookstore and flipping through a book called "1000 record reviews". And the author gave the FOTN album an F- with the review "This album is only good in a black world where David Bowie is God." And I made a puzzled face thinking well ... he is, isn't he? & bought the album & never looked back. Finding good music isn't just looking for music that the right people like, it's also sometimes finding music that the wrong people hate.

Before we left Neil helped me out with a Top Sekrit Projekt, here at this restaurant. I'm continually amazed at what a nice person he is. Even with walls of deadlines, he'll lend his voice and his talent and his sphere of influence when he really doesn't need to but he does it because he's a genuinely kind person. If I'm ever about to post something snarky on the Internet I try and take step back, breathe for a second and ask myself "Would Neil Gaiman post this?" -- most of the time the answer is "no" and I delete whatever stinging criticism I had penned.





The Top Sekrit Projket thing becomes un-top-sekrit in January or February, something like that. I'll let you know when the world is supposed to know.




Trillian Stars returning from breakfast with a wandering writer who
was always lurking about the place committing acts of kindness.
You may clickenzee to Emawesome.



So we finished the album cover, we finished the publicity shots, we finished the Top Sekrit Projekt, I met the baby that I'd known as a bump, created from two people I'd watched meet and fall in love and get married, I met the singer without whom none of this would happen, I saw gigantic wild turkeys walking around like lazy squirrels, I went for a run along roads that Bob Dylan had driven his motorcycle, I deconstructed a photograph, learned about history ... I took a long ride on a train with Trillian Stars, I slept in a tiny room made by elves from a hollowed out tree, I ran in the forest, I searched for Drow ... I tried out a steam shower which is a truly terrifying thing, it's like a shower, but you're also blind at the same time.

And on the train on the way home I got what might be the most surreal, weird & wonderful text message of my life.








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The Yellow Wallpaper: Invited Dress [Jul. 8th, 2016|05:45 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |proud of Trillian Stars]
[music |REM document]

"There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will."
-- The Yellow Wallpaper


So, last night I went to the invited dress rehearsal for The Yellow Wallpaper at the Physick house. This is the show after tec where the lights have been figured out, the props and the costumes, and they run everything. It's possible in a dress that things will stop and back up and that happened about 2 minutes into this performance when a lighting cue was amended -- but then the show went flawlessly from top to bottom and everybody was spooked and horrified -- in different ways.




Clickenzee to get this big enough to be your computer wallpaper.



OMG I'VE READ ENOUGH JUST GET ME TICKETS!


The Yellow Wallpaper is the story of a woman imprisoned by her husband while suffering what at the time was called "hysteria". She's locked away in a horrid room in a beautiful house and kept from books and people and writing. When she begs her husband to end the "treatment" he takes her in her arms and calls her a "blessed little goose". At every corner she is ignored and diminished and stripped of any autonomy.

While this is happening, things begin to manifest themselves in the room in which she's been kept, and strange things unfold.




Looked at in one way each breadth stands alone, the bloated curves and flourishes--a kind of "debased Romanesque" with delirium tremens--go waddling up and down in isolated columns of fatuity. -- But, on the other hand, they connect diagonally, and the sprawling outlines run off in great slanting waves of optic horror, like a lot of wallowing seaweeds in full chase. -- The whole thing goes horizontally, too, at least it seems so, and I exhaust myself in trying to distinguish the order of its going in that direction.
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The Yellow Wallpaper was written in 1892, but it's not any less important today. It's one of the early handclaps that lead to women's suffrage. I was happy to see such a glorious production in such a great space. The show opens Sunday July 10 and runs until the 15th. There aren't a lot of seats, so most of the shows will probably sell out so, getting your tickets ($10-15) in advance is a good idea.






After the performance, discussing lighting cues with Stage Manager Sam Wend.
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Fancy Camera Chronicles [Jul. 6th, 2016|06:02 am]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |lorde]

So, lately, as in for the past couple of years, I've been mostly shooting everything with a Leica M9 and their followup, the stupidly named "M" (How this fits in the 50 year long naming convention scheme M3, M4, M5, M6, M7, M8, M9..." is a mystery). In the last couple of years the M has only failed me once -- when I was shooting a big poster for Amanda Palmer and the New York Public Library -- I set up the lights, set up the backdrop, hours worth of makeup happened, Amanda Posed, I pressed the button and the back of the camera froze up in purple, green, and pink stripes. I had a Nikon D800 with me and took the photo with that and the Leica never did that again.

I got the "M" (I taped a "10" to the front of it) a few months back and it's seemed reliable, so on smaller shoots I've been taking it and a lens or two alone. But this evening I was off to do production photos for The Yellow Wallpaper and when I arrived I pulled my camera out of the bag and found this.




Something is wrong here. You may clickenzee to embiggen!



What the heck? Somehow, bouncing around in my camera bag, the way that cameras do, the entire shutter release assembly had come undone. I fished around in the bag, found it and screwed it back in. Nothing happened though when I tried to take a photo. Well, not nothing, the buffer LED light flashed five times & then stayed steady for about 3 seconds. I turned the camera off, turned it back on. Nothing. I pulled the battery out and the card out, nothing. The screen wouldn't come on, I couldn't get a menu.

So, I did what anybody else would do and shot the photos with my phone. And, in a 1970's horror movie sort of way, they didn't come out half bad.




Some camera is better than no camera. You may clickenzee to embiggen



Googling around I found that other people had had similar situations where the camera was put in the bag turned on (which is how I put mine in the bag all the time) and it took a bunch of photos, filled up the buffer and locked up the BATTERY rather than the camera. Apparently the battery has some sort of software or hardware switch built into it and it can get flustered and the only thing that will reset it is placing it back in the charger momentarily.

After the shoot I took the camera back home, plugged the battery into the charger for about five minutes and put it back in the camera. It came on, showing a 55% battery charge and no blank frames.

Still no idea what happened, but resetting the battery by placing it in the charger for a few minutes worked. Which is annoying. So, my pro-tip is never take just one Leica to a shoot that's important. It would be nice if the M9 and the M took the same battery, but if, like me, you have one of each, you have to take batteries and chargers for each anytime you travel.

Blah.

But, Yellow Wallpaper, it's scary. Go see it. July 10-15th in Philadelphia.





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Welcome to my America [Jul. 4th, 2016|04:31 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |REM document]

I was overjoyed today to be able to ride with the Lambda Car Club in the Philadelphia Fourth of July parade. We celebrated the fact that King George no longer plunders our seas, ravages our Coasts, burns our towns, and destroys the lives of our people, and also the fact that, at some point, this country opened up her arms to all of us when we were tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We may all need a reminder that all of us started out somewhere else and were given a chance here.




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Never Not Relevant: Armed America at the Brattleboro VT Museum of Art [Jun. 27th, 2016|05:56 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

My book, Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes went up for sale on the day of the Virgina Tech shootings and the issue of guns in America has never gone out of the news cycle. Last week, just a day after the shootings in the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, cards started arriving from the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont about the opening of a show featuring images from Armed America. If you're in Vermont, go see the show. I'll be there in October giving a talk entitled "1/60th of a Second of Truth: Journalists and the complex fight for unbiased reporting."





I like their blurb about Armed America: "For gun owners, Cassidy is an artist who finally shows their point of view in a positive light. For ardent supporters of gun regulation, the book provides confirmation that gun owners are the lunatic fringe."





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Librarians! Are you going to be at ALA 2016 in Orlando? [Jun. 20th, 2016|10:23 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |FOTN: Requiem XIII 33]

Hi folks --

I'm looking for librarians from the following states to interview at ALA 2016 in Orlando for my Alexandria is Still Burning project. If you'll be there and you have some time on Friday or Saturday, please let me know. & Please share w/ Librarian friends. Thanks.

Alabama
Delaware
Idaho
Kansas
Maine
Mississippi
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Dakota
West Virginia
Wyoming







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Trillian [Jun. 19th, 2016|05:25 pm]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the andipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |chelsea wolfe]

Trillian Stars has returned from Russia with some high falutin' ideas about tea.

Did you ever use one of these? Does you family have one? I'd love to hear the story.




Clickenzee to embiggen the samovar!








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Project Pitchfork [Jun. 11th, 2016|06:59 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Project Pitchfork: Lament]

So, now that I'm obsessed with Project Pitchfork and wondering if they ever sit around in their pajamas looking like normal people I realized that not only did I see them, but I hung out back stage with them when Carfax Abbey was promoting the "It Screams Disease" album (which I shot the album cover for). Looking through all my cell phone photos, I see I was in Canada that morning, then went to the show with Trillian Stars & Nicki Jaine -- there are a couple photos of a pile of Carfax Abbey albums (which had just come out), a really blurry shot of me sitting back stage that kind of looks like a ghost in a fog and this photo of Trillian & Nicki. I 100% remember now that Project Pitchfork were absolutely not wearing pajamas. They looked goth as a pile of black lace bones, but I didn't say a word to them. Possibly because they were speaking German & I had no idea who they are. The one day I seem to have taken no photos. Thanks to Patrick Rodgers for the opportunity to tell this missed connection story.








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Portrait of IFM Kiwi. [Jun. 3rd, 2016|06:15 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |black sabbath: too late]

Portrait of Missy K last night. Leica M10, 90mm f2 Summicron at f2 or 2.8.




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Cooking with Roswell [Jun. 2nd, 2016|06:23 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |black sabbath: too late]

Like it or not, summer's here, which means a lot of sitting out on the back porch with Roswell, watching the birds & the other cats & listening to Smooth Jazz Lady blast horrible music into the neighborhood. But it is also tofunafish season.




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1 block extra firm tofu, mashed or crumbled w/ a fork (i use a potato masher in a colander)
1 stalk celery finely chopped
1/4 small onion finely chopped
4 sweet ghirkens pickles, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, grated
1/4 cup Veganese (or mayo alternative of your choice)
Salt & Pepper to taste.

Eat with someone you love.






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The Garden of Allah [May. 27th, 2016|08:19 pm]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the andipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |john carpenter: halloween]




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trillian_stars looking for ghosts.




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John Carpenter! Live! Plus Big News. [May. 24th, 2016|05:55 am]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |30,000 feet above Texas]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |John Carpenter Band: Halloween (on repeat)]

I'm in an airplane at 30,000 feet, leaving Lost Angels after photographing movie director & composer John Carpenter's first live show -- a friends & family practice gig before he goes off on his world tour supporting the two albums "Lost Themes" and "Lost Themes II" (which I am overjoyed to have photographed the album covers for -- and which, if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can stream for free).

John directed & did the scores for Halloween, Christine, Assault on Precinct 13, They Live and others and started a whole sound of 80's soundtracks. A few years ago he thought it would be fun to make a record of original music with his sons Cody Carpenter & Daniel Davies, so they went into the studio and their first effort "Lost Themes" went to #1 on the billboard dance/electronic charts. Not only that, it's a great album with some really astounding design work by Jay Shaw. A second album and a world tour were inevitable. I came out to photograph the second album cover sometime in late 2015.

At this point, there are still seats available to the Philly show at the Keswick, Saturday July 9th, 2016. You should go. Seriously.




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Apart from the tour, of course, the big news is that John is on board for a remake of Halloween. The franchise has had a lot of action from people who were not John Carpenter in the last few years -- it's nice to know that finally, someone who cares is back at the helm.

Trillian Stars came out too this time and she's been wandering around Hollywood looking for old silent movie stars homes. We tried to find Nazimova's old house "The Garden of Allah" on Sunset Boulevard but it's been turned into a warehouse. She wanted to find Rudolph Valintino's house "The Falcon's Lair" but that was torn down in 2005. It amazes me that a town that lives, to some great extent, on it's history is so quick with a bulldozer.

(Photo geekery: I shot the show kind of oldschool with a Leica M9 and a Leica M10 with a Zeiss 50mm f2, a Leica tele elemarit 90mm and Canon 135mm f3.5. The Canon's a stop slower than I'd like, but the M10's higher ISO sensitivity let me shoot with little noise at 1600, the M9's pretty much useless past 400.)

The show itself was incredible -- imagine those movies, and that music, but now powered by a full band, two keyboard players, drums, bass, and Daniel Davies hammer and tongs rock guitar on top of it. It was freaking wonderful. You have to see this show. They've got a projection system that shows movie clips behind them so if you don't know what movie the song is from, you've got the visuals to remind you.




Cody (left) & John (center) Daniel (right)

Eventually somebody's going to figure out (if they haven't already) how to take all these cellphone videos and make a 3d movie that you can zoom in and out of and experience a show in incredible defintion from multiple angles. I'm looking forward to that.

Daniel Davies

Cody Carpenter
At some point during the evening Adrienne Barbeau (star of The Fog, Escape from New York, and, you know, Cannonball Run) put her hand on my arm and said "I love your work!" and my mouth hung open for a second and I blurted out "I love you too!" as my 13 year old self dropped dead.


Trillian Stars, me & Freaking Adrienne Barbeau. Dh00dz.





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How to prep for the Broad Street Run [Apr. 27th, 2016|06:22 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |the killers: mr brightside]

The IBX Broad Street Run is this Sunday! Philadelphia's preeminent 10 mile race straight down the main drag that bisects the entire city East and West. It's one of the greatest races in the country -- the city comes out to cheer for you in a 10 mile tunnel filled with bands & baton twirlers and the like. Former Philadelphia mayor & Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is always there (usually at mile 6 by the Bellevue, but he surprised everybody last year by being at mile one (he was on his way to the airport and stopped to give out some hi-5's first)). The race is one of the least expensive large scale city races (It's like $40). Suffice to say it is the race in Philly.




It's ok to cross the street to hi-5 Ed Rendell.
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This will be my fourth time running it and I have some advice for people just doing it for their first time.

1) Get up really early on Saturday I'm talking like 5 am. Get up at 5, eat breakfast, have coffee, whatever you do. Watch tv. Whatever. This will a) help you sleep Saturday night and b) get you ready for getting up insanely early on Sunday.

2) Get up INSANELY EARLY ON RACE DAY. I get up at 4 am and I have a 30 minute commute. I get up, have a nice breakfast, charge my watch and my phone watch a movie that will leave you pumped up and excited (I recommend ROCKY) check the social media for other people going and don't rush yourself. I say this because--

3) YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE A BATHROOM AT THE RACE START. There are bathrooms there, but the lines are the kind of lines you'd expect if Taylor Swift & Beyonce were playing a free concert together and there's only one ticket window. I'm serious, do not plan on using a bathroom at the start of the race. Or if you think you might have to get in line the second you get there.

4) There are bathrooms along the course, so, if you're not running for time, you can stop at a much shorter line along the way. If you are running for time, get up insanely early and make sure you've taken care of everything you need to take care of before you leave the house.

6) Take public transportation to the race. The subway is free if you have your race bib on. It's the best way to get there. Do not think you can park anywhere near the race. Take the subway! This isn't city folk trying to sell you on mass transit, it's the truth, take the subway. You can take the subway back after (though it might not be free, I forget, pack some cash.)

IF IT RAIN'S THAT'S OK. Rain is better than heat. You're going to be wet at the end anyway, it might as well be rain rather than sweat. Rain's not terribly fun while you're standing around though, so either bring a disposable poncho (check your local drug store) or make a disposable poncho out of a trash bag. When the race is over you really won't care about the rain.




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7) Get your playlist together now. Scientists say you will run significantly faster if you're listening to fast music. "Officially" IBX Broad Street rules say "no headphones" -- but this is completely unenforced -- to the extent that yesterday the IBX Broad Street run twitter account sent out some playlist recommendations. So, make a playlist that's as long as your projected time and then a little bit longer and enjoy it.




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8) START ALL THE ELECTRONICS YOU NEED TO START 15 MINUTES BEFORE THE RACE. This means if you're using Garmin Connect so your friends can follow you, start that, start your watch so it can find the satellites. Don't be the guy going "oh crap! I didn't start my watch!" as people around you are starting to run.

9) Get in the right corral. The race is designed so that faster people are up front and slower people are toward the back. This is so that slow people don't get constantly run over by people passing them. If you don't know how fast you're going to run this, move to the back.

10) Move to the side if you want to walk. It happens to everyone -- you get to the point where you're like screw this, I'm walking don't just stop in the middle of the street. Put up your right or left hand to let people behind you know you're making a move, look behind you, pull over to the side, hop up on the curb if you can & catch your breath.

11) It may start out cold but you're going to bake like a pie by the end. The weather is unpredictable (hope for cold) but it's often nippy at the start at 7:00 in the morning. Today is the day to go to FOOORRRMMAAANN MIILLLLSSSS! or your local thrift store and find a sweat suit, or at least an old sweat shirt to wear to the start (You can also use a trash bag with a hole ripped in the top for your head). Just before the race starts there's a beautiful cascade of clothes flying out from the crowd onto the sidewalk -- it looks like salmon swimming upstream. These clothes are collected & taken to a charity that reuses them.

12) Lay out your clothes now. What are you wearing? Shoes, socks shirt, throw away shirt, are you wearing some sort of race belt? Do you have your headphones? Your sports gu's? Try not to use the bag check if you don't have to. It's a layer of complexity. If you can just go with what you have with you, it's easier. People say "bring a change of clothes" but I honestly have never, ever, ever in my life wanted to put clean clothes on my sweaty post-race body. Here's what I bring: Money a 20, five 1's, and two SEPTA tokens. My phone, my headphones, my house key. I put all this in a race belt. You can get one at the expo if you don't have one.

13) People say you can't wear your race shirt the say of the race but I think they're just being jerks. There's a weird taboo against wearing a shirt before you've completed the race, the idea being that you haven't earned it yet, but to me, the shirt would have more meaning if you actually wore it while you were suffering through the race. Plus, the sponsors are paying to have their logos get seen, so go ahead wear your broad street shirt if you like. If anybody gives you a problem, tell them I said it was fine. If you don't finish you can burn it in a fit of shame if you feel like it. (The other taboo is that you should never race in something you haven't worn before -- that's much more valid -- it might not fit properly.)

14) Do you need to put band-aids on your nipples? If you google "bloody 11's" (don't do it) you'll see photos of all sorts of people whose nipples started bleeding during races from their shirts chafing them. (Dear god is this a thing? Yes.) Put band aids on if you want, it won't hurt (except when you take them off). Chafed nipples typically come from people wearing cotton shirts (don't wear a cotton shirt) and run much longer than 10 miles. Not necessary at Broad Street.

15) Don't drink too much before the race. Your partying life is up to you, but having four cups of coffee before you start out may lead to problems along the way (see #3). You may want to bring a small water bottle with you and sip gently before the race, but there will be water along the course. I pretty much hydrate entirely along the way.

16) Speaking of which, don't stop when you get to the water station, there are people still running behind you. If you're going to walk and drink, grab your water from one of the last cup-bearers and step off to the side behind them. If you're going to drink and run, I've found it's best to pinch the sides of the cup together while you bring it up to your mouth. You're going to spill some, but you look gallant doing it.

17) There is also gatorade along the way, typically gatorade is in a green cup & water is in a white cup. gatorade is full of sugar and will blast you full of quick calories. Drink it if you want.

18) Mile's 7-9 suck. The crowd thins out when you get to the sports stadiums and you may think you're going to die, but at mile 7 it's only a 5k and you can do a 5k. Go go go! You're almost there! Crank up your playlist, put your head down and go!

19) The finish line is not where you think it is. The navy yard has beautiful gates and you can see them in the distance and you think omg! it's going to be over soon! but those gates aren't the finish. The finish is about 200 yards behind those gates and it's the longest 200 yards I've ever experienced. However, this is where your friends are, so this is where you should start sprinting so when they see you they'll think you ran like that the whole way.

20) You finished! Don't stop! -- My first year I experienced something called "exercise induced collapse" which has to do with working out very hard and then stopping suddenly and the the blood pooling in your legs and your brain not getting any oxygen. It's not uncommon and it's not dangerous (unless you fall -- so if you feel woozy, sit down first -- at this point don't worry about being an obstruction) but you can keep it from happening by walking. Because of this lots of races are extending the chute that you have to walk through to get your goodies. There's water at the end, take it & drink it.

21) Your medal! Someone, who will look like an angel, because you'll be half blind from your effort and there will be the sun in your eyes too) will put a medal around your neck and you'll stagger down an isle where someone MAY ask you for the food tag on your bib, or they may just hand you a bag of food. It's all good. Tastykake has had stuff in there the past three years. Eat the banana.

22) There are bathrooms at the finish!

23) Find the people you ran with, take your selfies go to an after party, wear your medal.

24) Your cell phone probably won't work at the race finish. You'd think they'd have mad bad cell towers outside a football stadium (especially one sponsored by a cell phone company) but everybody going "hey where you at?" on their iPhones jams everything up like a beaver building a house on a stream. It's better to pick a meeting area before hand. There are meeting spots at the end, you'll see them in your packet pamphlet.

25) Go home, count your toenails, check for blisters, take a bath watch tv, sleep. The foam roller is your friend, if you don't have one, it might be time to pick one up. It's the way to massage the pain out of your legs. They have them at Philadelphia Runner or you can order one on-line (do that now) or borrow one from a friend.

26) You can wear your medal to the office on Monday. You just ran ten miles for crying out loud, be proud!

27) Don't let all this training go to waste. Sign up for the Odyssey Half Marathon. It's the following month. You ran 10 miles. You can run 13. And it's Philly's OTHER best race. It's low key & fun with not nearly the huge crowds.




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This is not a fitness blog, but I just ran my fastest half marathon ever! (again!) [Apr. 19th, 2016|06:52 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |evi vine: & there will your heart be also]

When a bib showed up magically the night before the Philly Love Run Half Marathon I figured I'd use it as an opportunity to test my Broad Street Run pace to see if I could sustain it. Last year I finished Broad Street at a pace of 8:05 minutes per mile -- which was a bit freaky, there wasn't anywhere to go from there but sub eight which had always seemed one of those boundaries between "fast" and "something I can possibly do". (My first time running Broad Street I ran something like 11:35's.) I ran a half marathon in January in 8:11's, almost dying but obliterating my previous best time, and I'd recently clobbered my 5k personal record, running 3 miles in 7:10's (while actually throwing up at mile 2.5) and I'd recently run a 5 mile race in 7:55's -- so my plan was to try and run 7:55's for 10 miles and then jog it in.

I'd had a recent epiphany about belief and performance and also the ability to endure -- all mental, for the most part and I've been feeling that I've turned a real corner in the sportsing. (It goes like this:I am fast, I am strong, I am so fast and so strong that I can ignore this pain for 30 more minutes because that's the difference between winning and not winning. Repeat until collapse or victory.)

For this race I was on the City Kitties team to raise money for stray cats in West Philly & the great thing about that, well, one of the great things, was that they had a tent and a table where I was able to leave my jacket (it was cooold) and not have to worry about it during the run. I wrapped myself in one of those space blankets they'd given me at another race and went off to the starting line. (Photo of me at the starting line.)

I'd run the Philadelphia Half Marathon shortly after the Boston Bombing and security was tight. They wouldn't let me say hello to my sometime training partner Patricia, who's a wheeled athlete doing all these races with just her arms. This time there was no security and I was able to walk up give her a hi-5 and promise to meet her at the end.

I found the 8:00 minute pace team (mike and lou) and settled in with them. Pacers are runners who are "paid" (usually only with free admission to the race) to run at a particular speed holding a flag or some balloons. They're typically much faster than the pace they're running so for them it's just a leisurely Saturday run. This is immensely helpful if you're trying to do something faster than you'd normally run, you have someone to keep up with, and someone who can shout encouragement, find the tangents, block the wind, & all sorts of other things. I figured I'd run with them for a while or a little ahead if I could. The gun went off and for the next two miles it was like a bunch of salmon swimming upstream. My only real complaint about the Love Run is that there were no corrals, just an announcer saying "fast runners to the front, slower runners to the back" -- which is fine if there are 300 people in your race, not 3,000, and there was no wave start, which means, after the wheeled athletes were given a 30 second head start, everybody else shot out at once. So the streets were very crowded and there was much colliding.




(Spoilers, I finished.)
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This all thinned out after about two miles though and I settled in with the pace group. We had to make up for a bit of lost time. Our first mile was 8:05, we did the next two at 7:31 to bank a little bit of time for the big hill at mile 6, then pretty much stayed on pace until we hit it. I was expecting that we'd run what's known as the Odyssey Hill, because it's at mile 13 of the Odyssey Half Marathon, but this was a completely different hill, it started as a somewhat innocuous looking off-ramp onto a bridge, but then turned and continued into another hill that went up, and up, and up, and up, and disappeared around a curve. I passed Patricia here, struggling. Usually nobody but the very elite ever see the wheeled athletes again after they start (at the Boston Marathon, for example, the wheeled athletes finish an hour before the first elite runners) -- so to pass one meant that the hill was pretty significant. I gave her what words of encouragement I could with my head tucked down. Finally we crested the hill, only to find a third beginning right after. I don't remember much of it, except that Lou and Mike kept shouting words of encouragement like "YOU GOT THIS HILL! THIS HILL IS NOTHING! YOU CAN DO THIS!" and my feet went up and my feet went down.

On the other side of the up hill was a giant down hill and we got a little relief for the next few miles. As we approached the 10 mile mark I ran a bit ahead, it was pretty obvious I was going to make my pace of 7:55 and break my previous Broad Street Run record, after that I intended to jog in lightly & go home. But when I told Mike & Lou this, they had different ideas, "You are not slowing down!" they said "We are going to run you in to a new half marathon PR. And by the way, your new Broad Street pace time is 7:47."




Some of the City Kitties team after the race.
You may clickenzee to embiggen!


And I thought, Well, I don't feel terrible so I'll see how long I can hang on to them.. I'd fall back a bit, then fight my way up to them again. Eventually around mile 11.5 I decided I was done & dropped back about 50 feet, where a woman in a black baseball cap gasped to her friend "we have to fight our way back to those pacers!" and I got suddenly inspired, although she wasn't talking to me, and I fought my way back. At mile 12 Mike & Lou decided that I should be running between them whenever we passed a photographer so we could make the Usain Bolt lighting bolt sign for a cool photo op. So they'd yell "photographer!" and I'd struggle back up even with them for 20 seconds, smile for the camera and then fall back a little. As we got back down onto Martin Luther King drive headed back to the art museum Mike said "We're on pace for a 1:45 finish." Being one of those sort of even-clock numbers, 1:45 has always been one of those dream goal barriers for me. Under two hours, under 1:50, under 1:45.... I'd come this far and heck, did I want to break 1:45 -- I hadn't thought it was possible that morning. So, with renewed mental energy, but still flagging legs, I powered on. And in the last half mile I became obsessed with whether or not the finish line was in the same place as the start line. I thought perhaps they'd moved the finish to directly in front of the art museum "Rocky Steps", it seemed sensible, but if the start and the finish were the same, it would mean that after we came out of the underpass to the art museum I'd still have about two tenths of a mile to go. If they'd moved it to the steps, I had about 100 yards to go. This was pretty much all I could think about. I figured if I had to go two tenths of a mile after the underpass I was done, I wouldn't be able to do it. But a hundred yards I could do.

We came out from under the overpass and there was the finish line. I finished about 5 seconds behind Mike and Lou with an official pace of 7:58. Ready to smack down Broad Street now in 12 days.





Note the mohawk on Patricia's helmet.
You may clickenzee to embiggen!


If you're curious my splits were: Splits: 805, 731, 731, 741, 752, 756, 754, 837, 738, 740, 807, 805, 810




After the race, Lady Brack encouraged me to drink this Iron Maiden beer
Yagathai got me. You may clickenzee to embiggen!





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The Bakken Goes Boom! [Mar. 30th, 2016|07:55 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |sia: chandelier ]

You probably know I've been working with some professors at the University of North Dakota for a couple of years now, helping to document life in the western part of the state during the oil boom (and now bust) -- we've had a few things come out of that, the most recent of which is The Bakken Goes Boom a book of academic papers and my photos (I did the cover too).




Clickenzee to get a free copy of the book!







There's been some great press so far about the book. (The one from Fast Co. Design is the one with the biggest interview with me if you're looking for Behind the Scenes).

As always, Jordan Techer at Slate magazine printed a big beautiful photo essay.




You can click to see this image larger, this is in case the link dies at some point.



Fast Co. Design did an interview with me and some great photos.




You can click to see this image larger, this is in case the link dies at some point.


We got a nice
writeup in the ND Quarterly where they quote me extensively at the end.




Click to see this image larger, this is in case the link dies at some point.


A positive
writeup in the Daily Freakin Mail that printed a whole bunch of my photos. Oddly enough, the comments section remained relatively civil.

I'm hoping to be able to make it back to Nodak sooner rather than later to keep working on this project.

One of my photos from there, by the way, will be hanging at my show at the Stanek Gallery opening April 1, so you can see it gigantic and up close, the way you were meant to.








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This is not a fitness blog but blah blah blah sports [Mar. 27th, 2016|07:29 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |sia: chandelier ]

In Philly every year the big race is the odd-distance 10 mile Broad Street Run that goes straight down the center of the city from north to south and the whole city comes out for it. It was my first race (read about that crazy experience here) and one that I, and lots of other people in Philly, feel an affinity to, so it's the one that I really feel I need to do well. I made significant improvements every year that I've run it and I feel like I can't let that trend down. (Given that I passed out at the finish line the first time, it's a little challenging.) Last year I ran it in a time that I thought was impressively fast (read about that here) and I was a little freaked out at how I'd go about beating that time. But I've had a couple of pretty good races lately, setting new personal records in the half marathon and 5k ... so this weekend I tested out what I'd hope to be my Broad Street Pace (7:55 minutes / mile) at the Back on My Feet 5 miler.

At mile 4 I felt pretty darn good and decided to speed up when I saw Malinda Hill (one of the Twins Run) about 400 yards ahead of me and figured I'd try to catch her. I ran the last mile faster & my average pace for the whole thing was 7:39. I didn't get a medal, but they gave you a whole loaf of bread at the end, which was pretty awesome.





After the race Trillian & I went to the after party at the Bishop's Collar (at 9 am) & then had a party for the West Philly Runners and talked about sports. blah blah.

That's the news from Lake Woebegone.

I swear I'll post interesting stuff sometime soon.




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April 2016 Gallery Show [Mar. 13th, 2016|07:46 pm]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |amanda palmer's david bowie tribute]

I've got a gallery show coming up next month at Stanek Gallery in Old City (Philadelphia) -- which is very exciting, partly because Stanek is one of those fancy galleries, it's not like hanging your prints on a chain link fence by a vacant lot. The show is curated by Ross Mitchell from the Barnes Foundation. I've got seven prints in glorious large size, the way you're supposed to see them. You should come check them out if you're in the city.

It's a portrait retrospective going back to 2007 with one of the images from Armed America and going on to my most recent project, working with the University of North Dakota documenting oil workers in the Bakken. In the mix there's also movie director Melvin Van Peebles, some actors, some cosplayers & whatnots.

If you're a "collector" (meaning you think you might buy something rather than just chug the free wine) let me know, there's a special invite-only preview for collectors -- I can get you in. You should come to one of the openings because it's fun to go to a gallery show on First Friday.




Clickenzee to go to the exhibit preview!



April 1 5-8 pm
242 North 3rd St
Philadelphia PA


(You can see a preview of the show here.)

Show up! There will be free booze.




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Editing Hedda Gabler [Mar. 5th, 2016|11:02 am]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |the antipodes]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |the fields of the nephilim]

In the play, Hedda Gabler just takes one pistol from the display case during her fight with George. While making the movie I thought "we have two pistols, and she SAYS 'pistol*S*' with an 's' -- so let's have her take both. And then we spent an afternoon dealing with all the butterfly effects that caused, from how does she now open and close doors with a pistol in each hand? And "how do we get that other pistol back in the box where Judge Brack has already found it in a scene we shot yesterday"? Ultimately though, this scene works better for the pair, but I realize the problems of capricious changes to the storyline.




General Gabbler's Pistols. You may clickenzee to embiggen!







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This is not a fitness blog, but I just ran my fastest 5k ever! [Feb. 21st, 2016|01:04 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |rasputina: bad moon rising]

Many students of cinema overlook the fact the Eye of the Tiger isn't about Rocky; it's about Mr. T.

By the time the third movie takes place, Rocky had lost the Eye of the Tiger -- the fierce desire to win, and Clubber Lang had it. Rocky lost because he didn't deserve to win.





I've been in a slump lately. I missed three opportunities to set a new personal record in the Half Marathon and I was feeling slow and, a bit depressed about the state of my running and was starting to wonder if maybe I'd just hit that peak where age takes over.... And then some things happened, things that are pretty much mostly because of the West Philly Runners. I started paying attention to people who were faster than me and realized that we were approaching running from very different mental places. They were all thinking very positively and I was thinking mostly about how I was slow and running hurt. They smiled when they ran, when their bodies told them to slow down, they sped up. And then I read Matt Fitzgerald's How Bad Do You Want It? Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle which dissects a number of really interesting races (from rowing to the tour de france to iron men & marathons) with gripping storytelling about the races, interviews with the athletes and then a lot of science about what makes some people able to tolerate more pain than others. I started to think that I wasn't slower than other people, I was just shooting myself in the foot with my brain. And ... I started running faster and I think my perceived effort went down. I broke my half marathon PR a few weeks ago in Chicago and felt like I'd broken out of the rut.

Today's 5k was sponsored by the Philadelphia Flower Show and I wasn't really sure I was going to go -- it was a last minute thing. Finally I figured I'd run over to the race, run the race kind of slow and run home and count it as today's long run. But when I got there I didn't see many people who looked like they were in my age group and I started thinking that placing might be possible and then I thought, Oh, hell, forget running slow, I'm just going to win this whole race.




I'm just going to run until I win this whole race.
Clickenzee to Embiggen!




My fastest previous 5k I ran at a pace of 7:19 and people were so surprised at it that I was worried that it was a fluke due to an improperly measured course. I haven't run a 5k full tilt since then (I ran one in December while I was sick and ended up having to stop and puke three times) and I wasn't really sure what my pace ought to but but when the horn sounded a cannonball of people shot past me along Martin Luther King drive and off into the distance. I figured my pace was "in between them and everybody behind me" -- after the first half mile it settled into a big lead pack, me, and then about 20 feet before anybody else. I was the entire chase pack. Around mile 1 someone pulled up along side me and to my horror it looked like he might be in my age group, so I pulled ahead. He responded. I pulled ahead again. He came back. And I remembered something Richard Pogue, one of the WPR's, said to me about a race where something similar happened. He looked over at the guy next to him, while they were both burning up from exhaustion, and said (in his head) I am going to run you into the ground and then you are going to die. So I just took off. When your body wants you to slow down, run faster. By mile 1.5 I started to catch up to the lead pack. There were four or five people way ahead and maybe twenty in a group trailing behind. As people hit the turn around and started coming back I counted them. When I got to the turn around I was in 23rd place, and they all except one looked a lot younger than me. There was one guy in a knitted hat I was worried about. He was in 15th place, about a minute ahead of me. I figured he had to go down.

I sped up after the turn around and started reeling people in. 23rd place, 22nd place, 21st place, 20th, place, 19th place, 18th place. There were two women right in front of me, and then then the guy in the knit cap. I crept up on the women trying to distract myself by looking over at the woods and trying to see squirrels nests or birds and trying to think of what street I was passing. Every time you distract yourself from the pain for a second or less it's a victory. I passed the two women with a third of a mile to go and then the awful just swept over me and I started barfing. I'd thrown up in the last 5k I ran and my nephew, who's a bona fide track star, admonished me for stepping to the side of the course to vomit. "Don't stop, throw up while you run," he said, "it discourages the competition" so I puked, vegemite toast and Irish Breakfast tea, and I ran, as fast as I could. With a hundred yards to go, the guy with the knit hat was about fifteen feet in front of me, but I was gaining slowly. I passed him in the last 10 feet, finishing in 15th place overall out of 240 people. My time was 22:12, with an average pace of 7:08 -- something like 33 seconds faster than my last best time.




Clickenzee to embiggen my victory!



I ran the same course 3 years ago, eight minutes slower. This morning smells like victory. Go me. I clobbered the guy I was three years ago because I got the freaking Eye of the Tiger back. And thanks to everybody who's been there to help me along the way.




I stayed to watch the end of the race. Everybody here won.
Clickenzee to embiggen!



*** EDIT *** After the results were published, I found out that 2 of the top 5 finishers were in my age group. I snatched third place in the last 3 seconds.




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This is not a fitness blog, but I just ran my fastest 13 miles ever (go me!) [Feb. 2nd, 2016|06:34 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Billy Idol: Rebel Yell]

Ok, la, la, la, listening to people brag about how they did some SPORTS thing SPORTSIER than someone else it probably the least interesting thing you can read about on the Internet, but this is my diary so I'm writing it down.







About to start this madness. You may clickenzee to embiggen!



I learned about the F3 Half Marathon four years ago when I came out to watch Peter Sagal run it. It's in Chicago, on the lake, in January, and it was @#$@#ING FREEZING. In fact, the "F3" stands for "@#$#@CKING FREEZING FROZEN". It was so incredibly stupid to run this race, I thought, that I'd like to run this race. Back then I had just barely run a 5k and the thought of 13 miles was nuts. But anyway, I signed up for the next year AND I RAN IT! And it was freezing, 15 degrees with 20 mph winds howling in off the lake, and I ran (in a time of 2:09:22) and it was awesome and I signed up for the next one because it's insane to do anything like that. The next year I ran it 20 minutes faster (1:49:44) which was my fastest half marathon ever and I thought I was going to die at the end.

This year I was again ready to run hell bent for whatever -- I wanted to PR again. The weather had all the threats of being warm -- in the 30 degree range, and there was a blizzard raging at home, If I wanted to run in crappy conditions, I'd picked the wrong race. But if I wanted to set a new record, I probably picked a good one. I left Philadelphia at 5am, landed in Chicago at 7:00






Welcome to the party capitol of America I guess.
You may clickenzee to embiggen



I took a cab to meet silveringrid at her office and get keys to her apartment, then I needed to pick up my race bib about two and a half miles away. Checking the bike share app to see if there were any nearby bike rental kiosks I saw this:






Lots of bike rental places in Chicago.
You may clickenzee to embiggen!



Which brings me to a digression -- for as cold as it is, Chicago is something of a bike riding paradise when compared to Philly. We do have a new bike share, but Chicago has LOTS and, it's got protected bike lanes. But despite all the bike amenities, I walked from downtown to pick up my race number at the running store and then I had a couple of hours to kill before I was supposed to meet Peter Sagal at WBEZ to go for a short run. I was a little wary of this since he's a lot faster than me and I figured I should be saving my legs for the race, but I figured if I missed my goal by 30 seconds and I'd run with Peter the day before it would be all good in the end. In the intervening year I'd missed four opportunities to break my PR -- the closest I came was 15 second in the Rock & Roll half in Philly, where I was wearing a bathrobe and carrying a half gallon of milk, but every other effort, I'd missed by at least two minutes. I'd skipped a lot of training during the summer because it was freakishly hot and figured I was just paying for that. Anyway, after picking up my race number I decided to walk to WBEZ to meet Peter. I asked where it was and the clerk in the store told me it was "really far" and I'd need to take a train. Looking on my phone, it was only 4 miles. It seemed weird to tell someone who was about to run 13 miles that 4 miles was beyond walking distance. But I walked, met up with Peter and Eli Finkel a professor at Northwestern and, as Peter described him "probably the world's foremost expert on on-line dating." Eli and Peter were scheduled to do a run and hammer out a discussion they'd started a while back about whether or not running on a treadmill while watching TV (which Eli does) actually counts as running. (More specifically, Peter is of the belief that you're missing out on a lot that way. Eli was of the belief that he didn't care.)


I was hoping to run the race in 8:20's (meaning one mile, 8:20 minutes) and these guys started out way faster so it was pretty much all I could do to keep up. Consequently, I didn't talk much, but it was good practice for not just blurting things out. I had to REALLY think I had something worth saying. It was an interesting conversation.

Questions, interesting ones, I think formed along the lines of

* Is there a spiritual _thing_ that runners experience that makes it different from other exercise?
* Is there a proper way to be "a runner"?
* Is running outside a better way to experience "running" than inside?
* Do you have to like running to be "a runner"?
* Are you losing something of a spiritual experience if you're not paying attention to your running?
* Can one member of a club do all their runs indoors on a treadmill & meet up with everybody else for beers at the end and still be a proper member of that club or do you need to suffer through shared experiences to be a real member of a club?

Anyway. We ran two miles out and two miles back. On the way back, conversation drifted to on-line dating -- specifically things like how algorithms pair people up ("You and LonelyForU42 are a 63% match!") and how people don't actually know what they want when they fill out their dating profile.


We got back to WBEZ, I was a little worried by this point that walking 7 miles and running 4 faster than my race pace might doom me BUT, I've been having a lot of discussions about attitude & sports with the people in the West Philly Runners and I'd come to believe that thoughts like this are toxic and so I classified it in my head as a "shakeout run" -- which I'm not even sure what that means, but I've heard people say it. "This was my shakeout run before the race, it makes me stronger."






Me, Dr. Eli Finkel, & Peter Sagal, not being impressed.
You may clickenzee to embiggen



In any event, I took an Uber to Silveringrid's and hung out with her cats until she got back from work. I had my traditional dinner of mashed potatoes and went to bed early.






Clickenzee to emcuten!



The F3 Half Marathon used to start and end out in the middle of nowhere -- like in a frozen field -- but as the race has grown in size, the last two years it's begun & ended at Soldier Field, which is sort of nice because you're inside and warm right up until the race starts and then when you're done, you just go back inside. Part of me thinks this is cheating, because you're not suffering in a frozen field and, let's be honest, if you're not in this race to brag about suffering in a frozen field, why are you running it in the first place? But another part of me was happy to be warm.


At the start, it was about thirty degrees out, which is nothing as far as running long distances. I kept my jacket on until the end though and then handed it off to Silveringrid and ran in a long sleeve shirt and a short sleeve shirt over it.


A lot of running is distracting yourself and you're golden if you can find something to focus your attention on apart from how sucky it is to be running fast. I was gleefully able to distract myself in the beginning by trying to guess at what point I would be able to feel my fingers and then at what point I'd consider my hands "warm" and then at what, if any, point I'd actually start to feel hot. (By mile 3 I could feel my fingers and I was positively warm by mile 4. I pulled up my sleeves at mile 8.)


My plan was to run 8:20's the whole way and throw on a little burst of speed at the end with whatever I had left but in actual practice I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to convince myself to speed up. This is a problem with probably almost all runners -- they go out too fast thinking they can bank time. ("You cannot bank time" is one of the immortal rules of running.) But I felt so good at the beginning I figured I'd speed up a little to give myself a cushion to crash at the end. At some point I fell in behind a woman who was running perfect 8:05's, she had two people with her who looked to be pacers (people who run with you to keep your speed) -- they were all running in lock step and their speed never varied. "Wow," I thought, "here's someone doing all the work. I'll just stay with them." So I put my head down, concentrated on my playlist and kept their shoes in my sight. If their shoes moved ahead of me, I needed to speed up. At the turnaround at mile 6.5 or whatever I saw the strawberry, Joanne Singleton headed back. She was only about 45 seconds ahead of me. I wanted to text Silveringrid, who was following my race on Garmin Livetrack -- because last year the strawberry kicked my ass by a huge amount. As soon as I thought of it it dawned on me that the type of person who would text someone in the middle of a race is the type of person who's not busting their ass in the race, and the important thing was that I beat my time from last year. So I stuck my head back down and charged along. And at mile 8 I was still with my unofficial pace group and the thought crossed my mind that I actually felt pretty good. At some point in a race it starts to suck and you know it's going to happen. I was very happy that it hadn't started yet, it was just uncomfortable, and here I was, running 8:05's -- way faster than I'd planned.


The suck started at mile 10 and my mind & body had a significant battle over whether or not I needed to keep up. "You're way ahead, you can let them go and slow down, all you need to do to PR is run a 28 minute 5k, which you can do carrying a gallon of milk." Then the other voice goes, "If you stick with them, you can probably come in at 1:45 and totally obliterate your PR!"


This went on for a while and ultimately I slowed down, waved to my pacers who didn't know they were pacing me, and figured I'd try and stick to my original goal pace of 8:22. I did mile 10 in 8:13, mile 11 in 8:22 and then the wheels started to come off, I got tunnel vision, but as I came around a bend I could see Soldier Field in the distance and knew it was close. I threw in everything I had and managed the last mile in 8:29, but it wasn't fun.






I finish, victorious, but the look on my face tells the other story.
You may clickenzee to see my victory larger.



You start having this internal monologue somewhere along the lines where you're promising yourself all sorts of things when you finish. "Body! Don't stop and I will give you ice cream and beer and french fries! Body don't stop and there will be a hot tub at the end of this!" -- in any event, this time for the last two miles I was telling my body that it could lay down at the end. Someone handed me my medal, I took a bottle of water and laid down at the top of a hill where Silveringrid found me.


I finished in 1:47:56 -- knocking two minutes off of my PR which, in the running world, is smashing it.






You may clickenzee to watch my relief



I recovered in a few minutes and headed back to the finish line to pick up some food. Peter & I have had a debate or a discussion for a while now as to whether or not running clothes need pockets. I think they do. They need lots of pockets. They need pockets with zippers too. I mean, if you find $500 on the ground while you're running, where will you put it? Peter likes to be One with the running. Nothing more than a house key on his person, no phone, no music, just him and his suffering. Me, on the other hand I run with a phone, and headphones and my credit card and my drivers license and a handkerchief and bus tokens.... And also, at the end of the race, there are often an astounding number of food options -- not just bananas and bagels, which everybody expects, but all sorts of fitness bar sponsors and weird kinds of potato chips people are hoping you'll fall in love with, and if you're just trying to collect these things with your hands, you're going to get a banana and your water and then you're done. With pockets now ... well, you can sample the world.







To those with pockets go the spoils!
You may clickenzee to embiggen!



There was an after party, and there were badass looking shuttle busses (they looked like they were from Mad Max) taking people to the after party. I looked at the shuttle busses. Silveringrid looked at the shuttle busses. A runner stopped and said "Thanks for pacing me, I was staring at the back of your shirt for the last five miles." That was nice to hear. He got on the bus. Silveringrid & I decided to just go home. Getting on a shuttle bus seemed like a lot of work.







Wandering around Chicago looking for someone to show my medal to.
You may clikckenzee to embiggen!



We went out to a diner near her house. Then I took a bath that lasted about an hour and later that night we went out to a party a friend of hers was throwing. Molly Robison played.

The next day I met up with Peter who had been at Ord Camp, a sort of Ted Talk weekend style thing, and we went out to dinner. He introduced me to some really interesting people who'd been there. Schuyler Towne, who's very into locks, security and how people interact with locks and security, and another guy named Moshe Tamssot, who'd saved the museum of holography from going out of business.






Lock & security expert Schuyler Towne, Peter Sagal, thinking something, Moshe Tamssot, head of the Monks of Invention, and me.
You may clickenzee to Embiggen!



The blizzard blizzarded back home, but I got on a plane and made it out with no problems, back to the cats, back to the wife, all was good.

What's the most awful and wonderful thing you've done lately?








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Dream [Jan. 26th, 2016|07:17 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |sad I can't read this story]

I had what I recall was a pretty cool dream last night.

Like most of the dreams I remember, it was about a big building. I'd rented a house with trillian_stars and whafford. It was made with rustic wood and was nicely lit by the sunlight. There was a lot of old artwork on the walls and I was excited to be able to take it down and put up art that we had rolled up, awaiting wall space. I was trying to read this incredibly well written short story (on a kindle or some type of device) but I kept getting distracted (Lady Brack the cat was there, wanting attention). At some point I climbed a narrow, outdoor spiral staircase to a roof deck but for some reason couldn't read it there, it was also distracting and I couldn't concentrate on the words, but I knew it was a great story -- so I came down from the roof, slowly, on a fireman's pole, which was right next to the spiral staircase, because we have those in my dream houses..... When I got to the bottom I realized that I was asleep and I wouldn't be able to read and remember the story while I was asleep, so I needed to wake up and read it in waking-life. So I stared at the kindle screen and started chanting the name of the story, so I wouldn't forget -- because I knew it was going to be a dangerous trip to consciousness and I might forget if I wasn't very careful -- chanting the name of the short story ... chanting the name of the short story ... chanting the name of the short story and then when I knew I had it I willed myself to wakeup -- I felt this weird wobbling sensation, like I was bubbling from one world to another, popped my eyes open and was amazed at how tired I was, but I knew I didn't have much time before I forgot, so I turned on my phone and googled the name of the short story:

"For Gerta, the Grammerfit Cat".

Nothing.





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David G. Hartwell, July 10, 1941 - January 19, 2016. [Jan. 20th, 2016|08:31 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |reminiscent ]

I went to Worldcon in 2009 partly to sell a book I was working on, Where I Write: Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers in Their Creative Spaces and the timing couldn't have been better. My website had gone viral, getting more than two million hits a day, Wired Magazine had just written it up, I was at the center of everything Science Fiction.

I had a meeting scheduled with David Hartwell from Tor Books that night, at the gigantic Tor party and I was pretty confident.

The party itself was amazing. John Scalzi was there, Neil Gaiman was there, George R. R. Martin was there, the place was packed. David and I sat down on a sofa and he looked at every page of my book layout and poured over every one. He was very enthusiastic, telling stories about writers, looking over all the bookshelves. I think it probably took him half an hour to go over the whole thing. He was filled with praise. And I said, "Well, is this something you'd be interested in?" and he said "No."




The Tor Party. Click to see larger.




And I was kind of stunned. Why had he sat there saying all these glorious things for the past half hour? Why waste this block of time on me when he could be talking to George R. R. Martin or Charlie Stoss?

"For what it would cost to print this," he said, "we could publish five Jay Lake novels. The money's just not there to make this a viable book for us. It is beautiful. Thank you for showing me."

He gave me some leads and went back to the party. I realized that he'd known the whole time they weren't going to publish it, he'd known when he saw the Wired magazine article. And the reason that he'd agreed to a meeting was because he cared about Fantasy and Science fiction, he loved it, and he loved all the people I'd been photographing. He'd agreed to a meeting not because he was a bad editor, but because he was a good person.

I think most other editors would have told me on the phone they wouldn't publish it but David gave me 30 minutes of careful praise instead, because he thought it was something that deserved his kind words. Thank you David, for that.





David in Montreal for my "Fandom" collection.
Click to see larger.











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2015-2016 [Jan. 1st, 2016|01:22 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |slash: anastasia]

As you may know, ever since 1999 I've celebrated the new year with a two second long exposure that documents what I was doing in the last second of one year and the first second of the next. I have met these with varying degrees of enthusiasm. (You can find them by going back to the Jan 1 entries for my blog posts and then back to the Photo A Week archive starting in 2000).

Anyway, this year trillian_stars and I had to do a photo shoot for a Top Sekrit play that she's going to be in -- so I figured our 2 second photo could be during that and it would be a little ambitious trying to make them all work together, but Trillian didn't want to wear her costume all night (it's this frumpy nightgown) so we shot it at around 10:00 and then I worked on photoshopping the poster and I stopped upstairs about 3 minutes to midnight and Trillian hadn't changed.

"I thought you wanted to wear something festive," I said.

"I did," she said, "I'm too lazy."

"I just want to go to sleep," I said.

"Welcome to dullsville, population us," she replied.

At 11 seconds to midnight I hit the self timer and laid down on the sofa. At midnight the neighbors screamed and shot off bottle rockets.

We went to sleep.

This is our exciting world.




Clickenzee to remember the last second of 2015!








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#outlander #knitting #procrastination [Dec. 30th, 2015|01:30 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |some horrible cover of iron maiden]

Six months or a year or something ago, Joan of Dark (who wrote the book Geek Knits that I photographed) asked me to photograph this cowl inspired by Outlander were all the men are buff and all the things are knitted. We finally got around to it today.

Anybody watching the show? Anybody knitting stuff from it? Let's see what you got!




Clickenzee to embiggen!








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