Abra Goes

on theatre, running, writing, and looking up

He can see you, but can you

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spot the savage beast in this picture?



Written by abragoes

May 22, 2008 at 2:03 am

Posted in looking up

How not to design biz cards

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It is almost irresistible, the temptation to design my own business cards. My website is coming together. And by ‘coming together’, I mean ‘I’m working on it…get off my back, boss.”

Still shooting to go live by the end of May. Business cards are absolutely ‘doable’ in the next week or so. Once I have a design that is. I’m thinking: Pizazz. I want my audience to pick up my business card and commit my number to memory for fear dropping my card or mistaking it for a tissue and losing my contact information forever.

Wiser freelancers than I advise me to Keep It Simple.


I want to use paste. I do. At the moment, I’m most tempted to do life-size cut outs of my profile, folded down into the size of a business card. I realize this would be annoying because there’s nothing special about my head. I would simply be proving to people that I have a head, and possible calling attention to how unspectacular said head is…

Old fashioned as they may seem, I know I flip through my rolodex frequently when a friend asks if I know any designers or I have an idea to pitch…so I may as well make every effort to get myself in other people’s business rolodex.

I’ve come across a few memorable business cards. And have associated that person with style, creativity, good taste, putting in that extra effort. And I want that association.

Too bad I haven’t actually saved any of these supposedly memorable cards.

How ’bout it? What strikes you in a business card? Or do you prefer clean and basic?

Help an ordinary head out. I’ve consulted small businesses on their business cards, branding, etc, but like writing, I don’t think I’m objective enough to go with my first impulses when it’s my own business.

Written by abragoes

May 20, 2008 at 7:59 pm

200 Miles

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Cheers to me. I broke 200 miles recently. That’s 200+ miles ran thus far in 2008.

To put it in perspective:

The Earth’s diameter is 8000 miles. So if I run what I’ve already ran this year 40 more times, I’ll have run the earth’s diameter.

Since January, I’ve logged as many miles as two Ultra-marathoners. But I prefer to equate my strides to about 64.5 5ks.

Is it a runner-thing to count miles? Cyclists I know pat themselves on the back when they do 40 miles here, 20 miles there…but I don’t know any who keep a running tally. Perhaps it’s a runner/writer thing? Counting words, counting miles- it means something to the do-er. Assuring there is substance to the ground beneath my feet.

The sum may not reflect the ultimate question of craft that never really stops tapping behind the eyeballs: Am I getting any better?

The sum does report effort. Gives you marks to celebrate and numbers to rattle off when family wonders why you never call.

I was running 200 miles. Hello?

All but 6 of these miles were ran in NYC – Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the handy, boring treadmill. Very little hill training so far, but I am mastering running along the Hudson River without falling in.

Written by abragoes

May 20, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Posted in running

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The list goes on

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There’s something quite satisfying in creating lists, perhaps because it helps you pull all of those fragments, those ‘note to selves’ & scribbles on napkins, into one place. Title your list and print it out and every bullet of intention becomes final – something you are committed to doing if for no better reason than to cross it off the list.

My almost-daily runs afford me the time and patience to massage problems. Even when I’m not consciously trying to come up with a solution, running puts things in perspective so worries get to breathe.

Because of running I: breathe better, eat healthier, get sick less … and write more. The obsessive tendencies of writing are also driving my running. When running, I’m thinking about running- conditioning, finishing marathons, seeing the world on foot- and putting this all into lists.

New-ish runners focused on building endurance ought to try making lists while running. It forces your mind into repetition. I find that my breathing syncs with my body best when my mind is preoccupied. Just don’t fool yourself into delusions of multi-tasking. At the end of the run, most of these lists are useless. The 25 Worst Books I ever read, for instance, did nothing for me.

My list of the moment is vague and open to suggestions. (Hoping to find some great runs mentioned in First Marathons):

Favorite Places To-Run

  1. Pacific North West (Haven’t been yet, but I want to run every inch of this region)
  2. Grand Canyon (Haven’t been yet, but I will. Oh yes)
  3. Jersey Shore (I’ve only ran Ocean City’s so far)
  4. Manhattan Waterfront (My favorite paths so far include 125th down the west side, along the southern tip, and up to the Brooklyn Bridge)
  5. Boston through Charles River Park (been here, but haven’t ran it yet)

Written by abragoes

May 19, 2008 at 7:33 pm

Posted in running

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Get out of my head, you

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In less than a month I’m off into a void… losing sleep watching the clock. And it seems like everyone else in the world knows where they’re going.

Running is keeping me sane. It’s not getting me anywhere, but it’s keeping me sane. I’m burning off the nervous energy, which replenishes itself in full each morning. My distance has plateau-ed at about 15-20 miles/ week, for now. Once I get past the turbulence of going from full time employment to freelance, I plan to step up my training and actually follow a program. I’m not sure when it happened, but running is essential.

Pictures from Ocean City are on their way. You know how unreliable these digital cameras are- always late on delivery.

Written by abragoes

May 15, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Posted in freelance life, running

Robert Rauschenberg departs

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Books, Inq. Started my day with this: Robert Rauschenberg died Monday night.

Now I’m staring at a pile of work, out the window, bright walls and fluorescent lights. Coffee is getting cold, but did you know Merce Cunningham once had all of the elements of a show designed independently- choreography, lights, & music. The first time his dancers moved to the lights and music was opening night. Dancers were leaping in the dark, off the wings, unable to see where they were landing!

If you’ve never seen this documentary of Cage and Cunningham’s collaborations and friendship, take tomorrow off and watch it on repeat.

I’m glad Rauschenberg lived and sad he’s gone. His work and approach to life will forever reference that of John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Jasper Johns- artists who came together through their work, unbound by medium and influencing generations to come me.

Who wants to take a field trip tomorrow? Let’s go to the MOMA and erase a sculpture or touch up one of his paintings, cover it with white paint.

More to say, but I’ll leave it to a white canvas to translate

Written by abragoes

May 14, 2008 at 7:08 pm

Posted in NYC

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Have a wonderful weekend

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Don’t let a little rain stop you from running.

Written by abragoes

May 8, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Posted in running