Thursday, December 30, 2004

The power of blogging, in my eyes

The Guardian has an article up today with excerpts from several bloggers in Asia. Blogging about their experiences, those of friends and family. Very powerful stuff.

To me, this shows the power of this medium - as a way to make sure your story is heard, as a community of supporters. To let the world know what's really going on, to vent incredibly powerful emotions. As a reader - to hear it in the voice of people living it.

Best to all and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Prayers of all sorts, heartfelt wishes

I don't know if I can contribute to an aid campaign. I might try. I know, however, that I can offer up prayers that those in Asia can heal. That families can be reunited and get information on those lost to us. That survivors will find shelter, food, clean water, and medicine. That the generation of children now decimated and many without parents can recover, thrive, and remember. That clearer warning systems will be developed, that people will know to run when they see the water rush out to sea. That bitter and bickering nations can unite to support those in need. That resources used to kill and conquer can be turned to healing and rebuilding.

Mother Earth does strange things at times. Sometimes you try to look for a message in it. Sometimes there really just isn't one.

Friday, December 24, 2004

For the love of a pet

There's been a bunch of hullabaloo about the $50,000 cloned cat and whether or not a cat could really be worth that much to anyone.
Molson sure is to me.
Makes me scared of his mortality. At 7, he's aging, but hopefully he has a ways to go yet.

Then last night we watched Hidalgo. Every time they focused on that horse's face and eye, I thought of Molson. Afterwards, I went and gave him several big hugs. He's the greatest buddy ever.

Well, it's Christmas Eve. Sonny and I are at the parents' all ready. Dan will come tomorrow. In case I don't get on tomorrow - Merry Christmas everyone!
Enjoy family, warmth, full bellies, friends, and peace this holiday....

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


I haven't gone through this myself yet, but I do have friends whose daughter would not enter a restaurant when small when she found out Santa was in there. Stories abound of the fear of the jolly fellow and this site has created a place to gather pics of the event. I love the ones where the kids are attempting to run away, and also the ones where the eyes get big and the body is stiff with fear. Our society can be so brutal!

The other site I wanted to share today is the site of Simon Faithfull, a British artist travelling to Antarctica with the British Polar Survey. He has a blog where he posts diary entries, current location, and a picture a day. These pics are actually drawings he has done on his Palm. Very interesting - modern technology allowing him to share regularly what he sees, but in a form, that for me at least, harks back to olden day depictions - stark, simple. Compelling.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Ah, the French

Here in the US of A, home to the fast-food phenomenons of McD's, BK, Wendy's, Taco Bell, etc, we protest the idea of fast-food by making movies like Super Size Me and running other such experiments - demonstrating fast-food's evil by consuming a ton of it and showing how messed up you can get.

I think the French method is more entertaining, and you can try some other good eats in the process!
Aiming the hose across the water, they catapulted fresh octopi -- a local delicacy, known here as the "pouffre" -- towards the town's first McDonalds, which had been set to open on Saturday.

Man, that restaurant must be stinky!

Amidst the holiday prep ...

Sonny's dog, Owen, is recovering from an attack by some evil dog a guy decided to walk without a leash. A night in the hospital, some stitches, and an Elizabethan collar. Hopefully he's feeling better. I'll be sending positive vibes...

Holiday baking is so not stressful this year. I'm doing a million and one things and have more yet to do. My cards are pretty late, but that's not so unusual. Wish I was further along on gift wrapping or, as usual, just plain unpacking. But I'm taking/ making the time to make this and than for some food gifts. And it feels right. Maybe because I'm in MY/ OUR house. It'd be even better if there weren't boxes hogging the center of the kitchen, but I can deal.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Small victories

I found the cables to our printer! This may seem very minor, but you need to know the number of boxes coming from the old study that remain unmoved in our living room. I finally got a start on printing our holiday cards. Phew!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Catching up

It's been a week and a half since my last post...I'm suffering from withdrawal! It's been tough of late because work is insanely busy (getting strategies in place for next year) and what time I have on the web has been mostly spent shopping. Add to that the fact that we're still offline at home and you get a bit of blog silence.

Here are a few quick bits and pieces before I have to run to my next meeting.

It's a Wonderful Life - bunny style - is now up at Angry Alien - with bonus scenes! Happy Holidays!

Sunday night I put the lights on the tree (we put ornaments on tonight). I had candles lit throughout the downstairs, carols on the stereo, and it was nice and easy to get the lights on (starting at the bottom is easier than starting at the top, I found). Lit them up, shut off the lights, and called J to see. I nearly cried, I was so happy! Our lights on our tree in our house! Way way super cool.
The tree is set up in the center of the music room. Surrounded by windows and far from the fireplace. You can still sit on the papasan and just absorb the season. I'm psyched.

Last night, our realtor stopped by with a housewarming gift. Very nice of her. But we had so much trouble with her throughout the process and we were trying to cook and all, so we shuffled her right back out the door in less than 5 minutes. Felt a bit guilty afterwards. But I just don't think she's earned a welcome, really.

Last week, there was an incident on our street where a lady got shoved down, hit her head on the sidewalk, and her bag was taken. People poured from their houses. Not the best way to meet the neighbors, but it was very encouraging to see the response to a neighbor in need. At least 3 guys ran after the person and about 3 carfuls of people also gave chase. Beyond that, the police and local security forces also came out strong. I was just glad to see that people came out in their sweats and pjs and stood there until everything was resolved, going over what had happened, what they could do. Maybe when it's warm enough to be outside again we can get to know them better.

Theophilus plays Christmas eve, but I'm not sure where - check their site for details.
Sonny's art has been doing well. There was even an article on him in Providence Monthly's October issue - they don't post all of their articles on the site, unfortunately - but if you can find a hardcopy it's a cool article.

That's it for now. Need hot chocolate before I can go much further....

Friday, December 03, 2004


Besides all the joys of Thanksgiving dinner (sorry, no pics to post on any front yet - we haven't figured out how to get the phone jacks on the floor hosting the computer to work yet - will post a wonderful menage soon, hopefully) - I've discovered a few new yummy snacks...

Clotted Cream Fudge. Yeah, I know, sounds gross, huh? At least to me it did. It's like a caramel. Our cousin, after a bit of globetrotting, settled in England, keeping busy by authentically restoring really cool old houses.... Anyway, he sent some from Perry's Cider Mill as an "early" Xmas present to Mom & Dad. Good thing they share! It just melts in your mouth.

Rice Krispies Popcorn Crunch. Another of J's impulse buys. Quite amusing, but be prepared for lots of white flaky crumbs....

Movies I want to see:
A Very Long Engagement - Audrey Tautou and Jean-Pierre Jeunet - an excellent team - and Dominique Pinon is always awesome in Jeunet's flicks
Lemony Snicket - I know it's more for kids, but it looks really cool
Mirrormask - premieres at Sundance in January - I hope it does well so I can catch it at our local arthouse....
And of course, the many many many I am behind on....

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're gathering at Mom & Dad's - Sonny, Danny & his wife & a friend, J and I - for our family feast. Happy Thanksgiving all! Happy Turkey Dreams!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Simple things

This house thing is just so frickin' cool! It's silly, but... as I leave work and think "Do I have my keys?" I get excited - they're MY keys to MY house! Every little aspect is MINE - OURS (though J has tried to call dibs, I've told him that's against the rules)!! Even the lawn, which someone was kind enough to rake for us - thanks whoever you are!
This is just so cool. :)Heeeeeeeeeeee

Maybe this weekend we'll find all the computer pieces and I can post those pics I've been promising.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Back in the swing

Well, it looks like the retribution only lasted part of Monday. Things are now back on track. Still a bit of finishing up at the old place. Lots to do in the new to get boxes and furniture where they need to be, do the necessary cleaning before full unpacking, think about painting, appliance, rug, lamp shopping, etc....

I spent last night shifting boxes from the nearest possible setting place inside the door to roughly where they belong, after bringing the second-to-last carload from the old. I love the feeling of settling in! J isn't feeling really well, but when he feels better we'll get into the zone... :) Once we get a bit more settled, we can start having some visitors - those who want to scope out the place or meet Molson before the housewarming (which will likely be after the holidays).

Read all of The Blue Sword on the flight back. Good fantasy story. Nothing really deep to discuss, but good read for escaping or whiling away long hours on a plane.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Return and ... retribution?

Wow. I definitely will return to Alaska. Hopefully with J. Definitely in summer. An incredible trip.

I haven't had the best time since back, though. It's got to be some sort of sign, but whether a sign that I shouldn't have gone or one that I should have stayed I haven't figured out yet.

When I left we were filled with excitement and wonder at our new home and what it meant. Everything was whole and happy and glorious. When I returned, that seemed gone - and short tempers and irritations prevailed. I'm sincerely praying it comes back tonight. It was not pleasant,especially after the feelings I had left behind.

Then, I woke up with a stomach ache and migraine. Ate a little, took some pills, slept a bit more to kick it. Finally ready to get back to the grindstone after a crazy last week and my car doesn't start. Once the guy jumps it, I decide to take it to a shop - to a Nissan dealership in case it's a warranty related issue (the car is only 2.5 years old) - and they basically tell me they'll look at it but doubt they'll even find anything wrong. Didn't get to work until 1.

Maybe I should have stayed there. Maybe I shouldn't have gone. Can I rewind time?

Pictures soon, still no operating PC at home.
PS I just posted what I wrote while on the trip, since I couldn't get to blogger, scroll down for posts back to 11/11 (my first post is just below Sonny's latest, sad note)

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Took a longer walk about more of downtown today and again want to come when the weather is warmer. What a neat place!

I checked out the Oomingmak Musk Ox/ Qivut knitters co-op. They make yarn from the soft fur on the underbelly of the Musk Ox and knit it into the softest, warmest hats and scarves I’ve ever felt. Unfortunately, the craftsmanship involved in every stage from raising the Musk Ox to knitting the products results in a very high priced hat. Another time, perhaps.

I’m in Alaska for the annual conference of the American Indian Science & Engineer Society (AISES). Not in either of those vocations and not of Native heritage, I felt a bit out of the loop at times. I am here as an officer of the Native employee network in my company – someone highly interested in the culture and cause. It has struck me here that storytelling and prayer unite and conquer.
Storytelling can make your experiences real for others – no matter how different their lifestyle may be. It brings the mix of experiences we have down to the common human traits that we all understand. It is the power of words to teach a lesson without the audience feeling like they’re being taught. This even was also very spiritual.
Spirituality plays a key role in Native culture. Each major event or gathering began and ended with prayer here. Even though each group might have their own beliefs, even though prayers were often in Native tongues that only a select few understood, everyone participated and felt the reverence the practice leant to the entire proceeding. It sealed the import of the event and the depth of the sense of family.

One of the Elders today told us to “choose your spirituality”. It doesn’t matter what particular belief you choose, he said, but choose it, “do not let others choose it for you”. That was big for me. I don’t necessarily believe in or understand his Nez Perce faith system, but I respect it all the more for valuing my right to decide how and what I feel is true and right to believe in.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

First full day

Anchorage is a city of mixes. Cottages mixed with high rises in the downtown. The ocean mixed with mountains. Wildlife mixed with people. Four hours different from home. In an extended network area for Verizon that compels you to use a credit card for cell calls. It feels like another world, a foreign land. And yet, its spirit harks to that of our founding fathers, of the pioneers and of the Native peoples. The blend is fascinating. I’ll need to come back at some point when the streets don’t ice over of an evening. When the sun rises before 11am. When I can maybe spot some whales in the Inlet or the Sound.

Oh, and the Alaskan king crab is mouth-wateringly awesome!

Friday, November 12, 2004

Heart of Darkness

An in-depth look at how man copes in a world of no boundaries. At man’s failures. At the power of personality to overcome the atrocity of deeds, Heart of Darkness misses many opportunities to bring these points home – if those are, indeed the intended points. Most of the book deals with the journey to find Kurtz – the subject of the study above. But that journey is non-eventful. Conrad could spend less time discussing how to maneuver around river snags and more fleshing out this personality that is so key, but of which the reader sees very little first-hand.
I find it disturbing that, despite all the evil Kurtz seemed to have done (the man had heads on spikes outside his house for Pete’s sake), and his realization of it at the end of his life, Marlow still feels compelled to be loyal, compelled to call him friend, compelled to think of Kurtz as a great being. Is this due to Kurtz’s power of voice? Did his words (which comprised so much of his identity) contain such power that one forgot his evil deeds – that one could dismiss them as unimportant in the overall scheme of things? This ability, its roots, its power, its ultimate impact, this is what I’d like to see explored more. Where I think the meat of the novel really lies. And it feels like Conrad chose instead to brush over it.
I’m still disappointed with this purported classic. But it does strike a curious chord to explore if voice can truly have such pull. Maybe I need to do what Conrad did not.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

richard kalter

hi, everybody should go to the maryland institute college of art web site ( and read about my friend richard kalter. there are two really nice things written about him there. richard passed away this week at the age of 79. he was one of the nicest, smartest people ive ever met.

Flying out

1:25pm Rochester time
In the air to Alaska (posted later, of course)

Moving is HARD! Especially with all of the books, furniture, and dust we seem to have! The timing got so messed up with the move that I’ve had to leave J to finish everything himself, with some help from Mom and Dad – for which we are extremely grateful.

I’m hoping that the PC will be up and running in the new house when I return, so I can post some pics both of the house and of Alaska.

It should be a good trip. I just wish I didn’t have a migraine and a sore head from a whack last Sunday that I seem to be really good at bumping on other things.
Can’t type any more. Words are making me ill. I will likely finish quite a few books if I can get over this motion/migraine-related wooziness. It’s going to be a long flight.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

We have a house!

After all of that nonsense, we are the proud owners of a new home. We love it - it feels so ... right! The first night there, I was walking around barefoot in the dark, moving boxes - it's like it was meant to be OUR house!
Can't wait until the hauling is done and it's just unpacking and cleaning and settling. I ache in so many places, I'm hobbling around today like someone three times my age.

Pictures soon, I just need to find my USB cable/dock....

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Should we summon the hero archaeologist? Hmm - primatologist??

A temple in India is under pressure. Perhaps some evil has awoken. Perhaps someone has angered the monkey god, Hanuman. Some 300 children have been attacked outside this remote temple in the last few weeks. Attacked by "blood-sucking" monkeys gone berserk. At least 2,000 monkeys roam near the temple, but only recently have they begun to turn on the children. The poor children. Imagine, running home from school and a monkey drops out of the trees onto your back - knocking you over and takes a bite! Yikes!

This sounds like a case for today's Indiana Jones. Or maybe there's an Indiana Jones of the animal world? Oooh, oooh! I vote for Mireya Mayor! She looks way cool:
I am a thrill seeker with a cause learn as much as I can about our fragile planet and do what I can to protect it. - Mireya Mayor
Alright. J always thought I had it so together about what I wanted to be when I grow up. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do. But I'm finding that last week I wanted to be an archaeologist on the hobbit find and this week I want to be a primatologist solving the vampire monkey problems.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Brush with fame

My friend, Kat', in India at the moment- met the Dalai Lama! Cool....
What do you say to such a man whose religion I do not practice, but clearly is an incredible human (supreme?) being?

Peace be with you.

Afterwards, we all stood for a photograph, careful not to get too close to him. But, he laughed and grabbed the woman to his left and right in a side hug and said "Come closer, I won't break!"

What a day.
Living vicariously....

Saturday, October 30, 2004


For Halloween, I wanted something different. Could be Amelie. Could be trying to reconnect with my Sicilian roots. All in all, though, much fun!:)

Happy bday J!!

Friday, October 29, 2004

One step down..

The roof is done! Wooohooo! Hopefully, we'll get a closing date today.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

A whole new world

The spot is a small Indonesian island. A safe environment with finite resources, evolution worked its wonders here to produce pony-sized elephants and dog-sized rats. And, the most recent discovery, Hobbit-sized human-relatives! Three-feet tall, with skulls the size of grapefruits, evidence suggests these small cousins of ours lived there for thousands of years, until their fate was sealed by a volcano only 12,000 years ago. Not only is their size a startling find, but the fact that they existed so close in time to written history.
Sometimes I wonder if I could have been an archaeologist. It seems really cool.

Only a week or so late

I never thought seeing guys sitting on a garage roof and hacking it to pieces could make someone so happy!
I may actually get to move at some point! wow

Monday, October 25, 2004

Son of the Shadows

So, I buried myself in my book yesterday and finished the second half in a day. Son of the Shadows is not a tale to really surprise you all that much - I had an idea of what would happen early on, for the most part. What was great, and compelling, about it was 1)a true love story well written that touched the sap in me, 2) the basis in and integration of Irish myth and lore. Not only is this set in Ireland of legends and the classic Irish tales told, but the characters also happen to be living some of them. Tho' not an expert in Irish mythology, this seems genuine, so that it gets beyond the "standards". I especially enjoy the inclusion and influence of the fomhoire or Old Ones (and especially when they are at odds with the Fair Folk).

All in all, a good read. If it weren't after 6, with me still at the office and starving and wanting to get house news, and if I were feeling a bit more creative, I'd write a more complete review. I think that's one exercise I can creatively set myself to here on a pretty regular basis. Expect it for Heart of Darkness (when I decide to finish it) and whatever is next in my pile (and expect something entirely different from Son of the Shadows)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

A new candy and no patience

J picked these up at a nearby minimart. From the makers of LemonHeads and Atomic Fireballs, Narbles are "chewy fruit slammers" - and are very yummy. J had only left 3 for me, but the intense fruity flavor was really great. (0 calories, too)

I had always hoped that I was a patient person. But I'm finding that if I am told something will be done, expect it to happen, something that's tied to a really big thing, like getting into our first house of our own, and it doesn't - well, then I have absolutely no patience whatsoever. I am extremely upset - I feel either on the brink of tears or of smashing something.
I didn't think I could make Jenny's pumpkin picking, but I may, just to give the pumpkin flinger/ catapulter thingy a try. That might help a bit.

Friday, October 22, 2004

OK, this is just nuts

I know groups can get offended by stereotypical representations. I do a lot of work with the Native American community and can see how such stereotypes affect them, even though I myself think that some representations are out of respect (my high school-nicknamed Red Jacket after the great local chief, for example) and so all shouldn't just be summarily abolished.

So, when I saw this article in my daily blogosphere wanderings, I heaved a disgruntled sigh. This school, whose district has a good base of Wiccans, CANCELED Halloween at the school because witches might be offended.

Did they have to totally cancel it? Really? Why not use it as an educational opportunity??? Say: "This is the background of Halloween, it's not just about witches, it's really more about the dead coming back among us":
Being “between” seasons or years, Samhain was (and is) considered a very magical time, when the dead walk among the living and the veils between past, present and future may be lifted in prophecy and divination. (per this site)
THEN you say, "It's not really fair to stereotype witches with hook noses, pointy hats, and broomsticks, Wicca is a real religion and you can ask your parents to help you find out more about if you want." You then tell them that they can do what they want for Halloween, so long as it focuses more on the real meaning and doesn't stereotype witches.
Don't more kids go as Shrek, Harry Potter, and Spidey nowadays anyway?

Thursday, October 21, 2004


Thanks for the comment... Just to clarify - I'm not struggling with this solely because of what one or more people think of me. It's more a personal aspiration, I guess. Always wanted to be a writer as a kid - just haven't found the right way to get into yet.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


I struggle with what I hope is my creativity. It's poorly defined. It seems to hide underneath a lot of boring reality type things and only peak it's head out every so often.

This frustrates J. He'd like to see more of my creative side. I mean, it's got to more entertaining than, just, life, right?

Sonny and Danny are obviously both very creative. Hmmm.

I see creativity in my work - in finding the stories behind the numbers, in devising the best way to get customers to respond and with the sort of information we'd like to know, in coming up with recommended courses of action based on the findings. That's not really the type of creativity that goes much further than your job or industry. Who in the great wide blogosphere really cares about the impact of the rapor I have with my online research community when it comes to asking questions and interpreting results? Or what my company can do based on that?

Blogger has just put up info on NaNoBlogMo - National Novel Blogging Month - their version of National Novel Writing Month. Checking out the site, many people have already started. I wouldn't even know where to begin. Maybe I'll try a mini-version of NaNoBlogMo. Instead of creating a separate blog, I'll put stuff here. Instaed of trying to crank out a novel in 30 days, I'll try some short exercises, see if it takes me somewhere.

Since the stuff isn't gushing out of me, I figure I have to force myself to do it in some fashion. Then, if I turn out to be horrible or to hate it, I can return to normal-dom.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Google in the news, plus warm fuzzies

Google has been doing some killer PR of late. The two stories that jumped out at me (there may be more)showcase Google as the evil-defeating instrument of justice, in a sense:
Google IDs 1993 hit-and-run victim
Google 'saved' Australian hostage
Now, I'm not a Google-pusher (that reminds me I have to get my Dan Blakesly Halloween CD back - sugar-pusher!). Nor am I writing this because of the ties between this great blog tool and Google. If it were Ford, Citibank, or American Airlines with similar cool headlines right in a row, I'd be talking about them....

In other news, J and I went to a baptism and after-party Sunday. It was really great. Heartwarming, down-home, good people type stuff. Brings a smile.:)

Sunday, October 17, 2004

the faint

i saw the faint play on wednesday at lupo's heartbreak hotel, they were really really good. they had a double video projection and had videos made specifically for each song and throughout had mouths moving to the song and they matched the singer perfectly. everything was exactly on cue. then thursday i went to an opening for a juried show i am in, i won second place which $75 dollars for me. this weekend, besides working i am plastering and painting some giant walls in my space and my friends band (double dagger) is coming to stay a night or two, they have in a show in sommerville mass.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Friday, October 15, 2004

Save the date, save the Montage

Friend Jenn forwards word of a campaign to "Save the Montage Grille" here in Rochester. The Montage is one of Rochester's top music venues. You enter via a classy piano bar and then descend a few steps into the restaurant/music space. It's an awesome place that tends to feature blues, jazz, and folks like Will Sheff of Okkervil River (a show I really wanted to see and am still kicking myself for missing). And I hear the food is amazing!

Anyway, save the date - November 12
Music: Roomful of Blues
Come early - eat dinner! Save the Montage!
(it would really stink if Rochester lost such a great venue)

In other news, friend Kat' continues to send word of Indian adventures - and pics too! (will add a pic this evening)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

the magnolia electric company

last i went to see the magnolia electric company (or songs: ohia, or jason molina, all the same) it was in a restaurant turned club that is all dumpy. it was a good show, the highlight being the last song, a cover of mama dont let your babies grow up to be cowboys. tonight i go to see the faint, though i am feeling under the weather and kinda dont want to go. but the ticket has been bought and im sure theband is counting on me to be there.
saw team america last weekend, it is very good. i laughed out loud.
the end

Monday, October 11, 2004

Apples, roofs, and boxes

I finally got to go apple picking with Mom this weekend! I would think this late in the season and, with our chilly weather, not a very popular activity - but The Apple Farm was packed! I got 3 very full bags of apples and hope to start with pies and applesauce soon. Yum! I think I dreamt last night of making mini-pies. :)

I also have been trying to pull the best recipes out of our old Bon Appetit's to cut down on the bulk we need to move and have found several other good-looking apple applications....

There's a whole hullabaloo going on about the garage roof on the house. Just so hard to figure out how it's going to get done. Too many layers of people to consult before you can even head in a direction and then you find out that it's a dead end anyway and have to start all over again. Ick.

Our first floor is a sea of boxes. I have a strange new walk, because I'm constantly having to twist and bend around them. And I have a bunch of bruises on hips and knees. Ah the joy of moving! Poor Molson - our cat - I think he's afraid we'll leave him behind....

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Just too funny...

OK - I just couldn't resist pointing this out after Mom pointed it out to me. What a riot! HAVE to see this!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

It'll stick that way!

It just struck me...

reading an article in Archaeology magazine on Mikhail Gerasimov, the man who pioneered the scientific art of facial reconstruction from bones - you know the whole thing with the skin depth markers then layering on the clay and all.

One key aspect of his work was including a "typical" expression for the individual he was working on. This was determined because:
Heavily used muscles - for example, muscles used to make a frown - leave permanent ridges in facial bones and give clues as to what expression the person might have most often worn.
Wow - so, in a sense, Mom was right when she warned against making the ugly face - it could be the final way you're portrayed in history!

Monday, October 04, 2004

Policies, procedures, and picks

The whole house thing is a rather big pain. Especially when some people really don't do the work they should. Some people have been a great help, others (more of them) are super frustrating. Kudos will go out once we close the deal.

Still, it is so annoying to get "the tone" that I'm stepping outside my bounds as a buyer when I try to follow-up on details and make sure things are being done, because I have experienced breakdowns in the area. People that are getting paid by this transaction should instead try to make this as painless and speedy as possible and might want to consider that at some point I'll need similar services again. Snooty and very, very frustrating.

Anyway, I haven't had much else going on lately, Danny is still a slacker, and Sonny is too busy (although he promises to post soon), so there hasn't been much to read here of late.
If any readers remain, what (within reason) might you want to know more about or to see a picture of? Votes will be filtered, of course, by what I deem appropriate and tallied (if we get that many).

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

A study in contrasts

So I started Five People when I left for Boston and finished it as I started my trip home. As I said, I always bring a backup, so I moved on to that - Heart of Darkness. Talk about a difference!

Both books have their followings. Conrad's Heart is labeled a classic. The two are written VERY differently, and I dislike the writing in BOTH.
Maybe it's because I read in such volume. Maybe it's because I have a strong interest in language. Writing style was the first thing I noticed and it pulls from both stories.
Five People is written in short sentences, which frequently start with the same word throughout a paragraph. Repetitive. This can be effective in certain situations. Throughout an entire book, it gives the impression a high schooler wrote it.
Heart of Darkness takes the other extreme. I realize some may be due to the time it was written, some because the author is not a native English speaker, but still. Stuffy. Using odd and unnecessary large words that don't fit the story or the personality of the narrator.

Beyond the writing Five People is a pretty good story. Interesting concept. At the book club no one cared about HOW it was written (except me) the focus was on WHAT it was saying and the meaning of this, that, and the other. Good discussion, but I would have enjoyed a bit more back and forth on the writing itself.

For Heart of Darkness, I'm reserving final judgement. It doesn't seem quite as painful as the first time, but I'm not sure if I really like it yet.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Halloween is coming! - Watch for Bunnies!

Fall is a great time of year, especially when it starts out so warm and sunny! A bit unusual for me, but I'm already thinking about Halloween. By Halloween, we should be in our house, handing out treats to kids who actually bother to wear costumes!:)

I don't have cable, but may ask Mom to tape a couple of things tied to some Halloween marathons. Take note - these should be cool!
Yes, the Bunny Troupe is hosting the Starz Halloween marathon - 10/30-31 - and besides short pieces will re-enact Freddy vs Jason, Scream, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (c.2003). Heeehee!

Neil Gaiman is hosting Fox Movie Channel's 13 Nights of Fright from 10/19-10/31.
Sonny, I think Neil likes zombie movies - he just watched a UK DVD of Shaun of the Dead - so you may like his picks....

And, the long awaited Pumpkin Soup:
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 c chopped, peeled butternut squash (about 1 lb.)
1 c chopped onion
1/2 chopped celery
1-1 1/2 tsp hot pepper, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
2 (15.75oz) cans chicken broth
1 bay leaf
(I think last time I also added a bit of cayenne, Joe's cajun spices, and Vietnamese Cinnamon, and fresh ground pepper)

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add squash, onion, celery, hot pepper, garlic. Saute for 5 min. Add remaining, bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, simmer 25 min. or until tender. Toss bay leaf.
Place half of mixture in a blender and process until smooth - repeat. Return mix to pan, cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until heated.
My mouth waters now....

Sunday, September 26, 2004

jalapeno taquito

the guy at 7-eleven talked me into getting a third taquito with cream cheese and jalapenos. they are really hot. my tounge is burning. my roomate has two kittens who are able to climb into my loft where my computer is and keep jumping into my lap. i thought i had done a good job sealing my room off from mice but i just found that they had dug a hole through my hard wood floor (they ate through a knot in the wood) and now my closet smells like mice pee. aprille, you should stay longer next time.
thank you all

Whirlwind adventures!

So, I took the commuter to Providence. Nice ride and only $6, not bad.
Sonny met me at the station and we had a great time!

Went to Julian's for dinner with Sonny's friend Jim. Yummy food - I had chicken with walnut-rum-coconut sauce - and great service! ;) Thanks, Mary!

Then to Rock'n'Bowl, with Jim and Will. I rarely bowl, but it's a family passtime and I do enjoy it when I actually go. But bowling for 3 hours (4 games) made my right bicep sore...Still we won a pizza and had a good time, even with the, well, unusual bowling styles of those around us.

Saturday I hung out with Sonny at work for a bit, scoped out the mall and Newbury Comics. Picked up Modest Mouse for me, Bjork for J, and Flogging Molly for Sonny.
Then to Lois's second birthday party. Her father, Geoff, is the other half of The Sentimental Favorites (Sonny is one half). Good food. Fun baby watching. Good time in the sun.
Looking forward to hearing more from the band!

Fun trip, a bit of a blur, but hopefully we can work similar things out more often and hang out more.

Friday, September 24, 2004


Blogging from Boston today! Travelled here for a big work presentation - phew!it's over!(for now) - and will be taking the commuter train to Providence this pm to spend a bit of time with Sonny! Maybe I can get him to post something.....

Travel reading:
The 5 People You Meet in Heaven for a book club Jenny invited me to. Will divulge my thoughts on it after the book club meets to discuss (don't want to spoil it!)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is the backup.
(always bring 2 books in case you get stuck on a plane waiting to take off for numerous hours....sometimes I've finished two complete books on one business trip...)

Coming Sunday - Pumpkin soup recipe, by request.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Team America - new movie

The three of us are big South Park fans. Mom is too. Sonny's given her some of the plush characters - Timmy and Tweak I think. Yes, we know it can be obnoxious, but it's really really funny!

Anyway, I'm highly curious and intrigued by Matt and Trey's latest flick:

The marionettes look like a riot, their take on politics and society is always amusing - from the trailer it looks like it has a bit of the kooky villain ala Austin Powers - I just might go see it on opening day! (OK maybe not, because the house should be wrapping up then and I'll be packing like a madwoman, maybe the week after)

I like how the chicks on the team wear pink camo pants...

Monday, September 20, 2004


I am big into baking, and apple pies and bread are a few of my favorite ways to spend my time in the fall. Homemade applesauce, too. Others include stuff with squash. I have a wonderful Southwest Indian Pumpkin soup recipe. And last night I made Zucchini and Dill soup - marvellous flavor, pretty simple, and a great way to get in the veggies I tend to slack off on eating....

(makes 6 servigs)
2 tbsp butter
5 zucchini thinly sliced
1 large onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
4c chicken broth

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add next 4 ingredients and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 min.
In batches, puree soup in blender. Return to pot. Season with salt, pepper, a little Joe's cajun spices. Bring to simmer and serve - add sour cream if desired.


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Aprille's associative exercise

I feel like....

Abby Wambach's soccer ball

Sleep sleep sleep sleep

After the second night this calendar week with 1 hour sleep total, I utterly passed out last night. So nice. Another evil morning meeting meant I couldn't take just one more hour to indulge.

Joined a handbell choir to fill a last minute spot for a friend! Such a neat sound...

Other activity - the house progresses! I'll post more info when it gets more official. So, my time is spent packing and less time spent doing interesting things.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Ooops, *^&%!

Brilliant Aprille was trying to hook the blog up to Technorati on 1 hour of sleep and deleted most of the template - hence the lovely blue blog you saw if you visited after lunch today.
Well, I have to start the sidebar and title formating over again, but at least you can read the posts....

The ultimate guerilla drive-in/art show/ etc.

Jenny held a guerilla drive-in showing in her driveway a couple of weeks ago. Now, the details behind the underground cinema in Paris emerge in The Guardian:
Huddled round a table in an anonymous Latin Quarter bar, the group's members - of whom only Lazar wanted to be named - relate past exploits: rock concerts for up to 4,000 people in old underground quarries; 2am projections in a locked film theatre; art and photo exhibitions in supposedly sealed-off subterranean galleries.

I remember Rochester's City paper talking about our town's cool, historical, unused/sealed off spaces - this would be sooooo cool. If someone has the guts, I'll be an attendee!

Quick pic

Just a taste of what you can find at Sonny's site...

Title: I was falling Lana Turner when I saw Ingrid Bergman

Friday, September 10, 2004

The writings of madwomen

The book I'm reading now (see sidebar) is a compilation of short pieces and excerpts by women covering two main themes.
Exposes on the treatment of women in assylums. These don't move me a lot - I feel like I almost expect such stories from such institutions.
Pieces, autobiographical or fictional masks of autobiographic themes, by women who have suffered or are suffering from breakdowns, mental illness, etc. A classic example is The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman.
This is fascinating! And adding books to my list:

In The Snake Pit, Mary Jane Ward brings you in to the point of view of the mentally ill. Her narrator flits from subject to subject and refers to herself in the first, second, and third person. Imagine trying to get through life with such distraction. Of course, you have to wonder how much this condition was enhanced or even created by the electro-shock therapy they were giving her.

Autobiography of a Schizophrenic Girl, by a girl named "Renee", is a marvellous depiction of the visual, auditory, and spatial distortions she would experience at random, and the anxiety and fear that accompanied them.

Still have more to go, but these, at least will be added to the list. Excellent examples of the voice and perspective of those forced to look on life from a totally different angle.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

"Don't try to find us"

A secret society of who knows what beliefs was almost discovered by unwitting Parisian police the other day. They were that close, but decided to leave, report it formally, and come back with more support. When they returned, all evidence was gone.

What's totally cool about this is that the sect's secret chamber was a bar and movie theatre in an uncharted region of the Catacombs. How cool!

Apparently, there are quite a few who scramble underground through hidden entrances or under cover of darkness, to convene in great caverns beneath the great city. Excellent (think Bill and Ted, not C Montgomery Burns). Reminds me that I need to read the books about Edinburgh and the mole people.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


One of the many benefits of my high school employment at a friend's movie theatre was the discovery of Sixlets. Chocolate with a tangy candy shell - they're like M&Ms, but with a twist. So good! And generally so hard to find, unfortunately.

The top sites I found for them are "candy nostalgia" sites. So sad.

Happily, J got me some for my birthday stocking! Yum!

Monday, September 06, 2004

baltimore part two

ok, so i went to baltimore. i left at 1 am thursday morning and got to doughety's (where the show is) at 8:50 am, i had to be there at nine. traffic was awfull. i started to put the show up at 9:30 and finished at 12:15. then i went to kinkos and typed up a price list and then back to dougherty's where i ate lunch and looked at the local paper. then i went to the neighbor hood my friend lives in and walked around till 4:15 when i met her at her house and we visited a bit and i met her kid and then i left there a little before 7 and i drove back to providence. i got back at 3am friday morning and i had to get up at 6am for work. so i was tired. i have to back in a month to take down the show.
the end

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Happy birthday and The Complex

Happy Birthday Sonny!!!

I'm hooked on this new show The Complex. When I'm at Mom's it's very easy for me to get drawn into Trading Spaces - for the ideas mostly. And when they had the Home Free series, Mom taped them so I could keep up.

The Complex adds a few more dimensions - the rooms they're fixing up need it, they're basically trashed. And there are no designers to chime in.

Of course it's Fox and they've recruited contestants with really contrasting and sometimes rather obnoxious personalities to "spice things up". That gets a bit annoying - they spend more time fighting than talking about what or how they're fixing the rooms.

One neat thing is that you tend to see 4 totally different approaches in each of the 4 units. I do wonder about the judges, though. I think they have a bit of recency bias - that they rate the first ones they see more harshly and then when they realize no one finished entirely they ease up on the later ones.

For master bedroom, I could understand the winner, I guess, but thought the loser they picked was the definite #2.
For master bath, again, I could understand the winner (Malibu style again), but thought the loser they picked should have been #3 - the one that lost was clean and simple and the judges didn't like that. Yet another bath was not only barely started, the end design was dark, dismal, and cramped. Who knows.

All that aside, I'm very curious to see what's next!

Coming soon: September Happenings

Friday, September 03, 2004

How was Bmore?

So, Sonny, how was the trip? Make sure I have the details on the show - I'll do the Sept happenings soon....

Starman, by Sara Douglass

Just finished this book, the third in the Wayfarer Redemption fantasy series by Sara Douglass. If you don't like fantasy, this won't convert you, but I personally got hooked quick and tore through it, couldn't put it down or turn my thoughts away while reading it - one gauge of a good fantasy book for me.

There are two interesting themes in this series that give it a bit more ooomph. Over a thousand years previously, the god Artor converted one race in the land to his following. Among his key tenets, that the other races were evil, "Forbidden", and that the forests that those races loved were also evil and needed to be destroyed for farmland. So:

  1. The land is now more vulnerable to an evil threat because of the loss of the trees.
  2. Artor built his following and his church on hatred of the Forbidden, primarily because the gods they worshipped constituted a threat. After time had passed the church fed this hatred as a way to sustain its cushy role in the realm.

Interesting thoughts, each.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Good idea...

Since Sonny is off on a whirlwind trip to Baltimore, thought now would be a good time to mention That Book Thing.

A friend of Sonny's could not bear to see books tossed and always picked them up until, after his van was full of discarded tomes, he realized that many schools in Baltimore cannot afford libraries. He started That Book Thing to provide free books to schools and people that want them. Makes so much sense!

There are ways to help him out other than giving books, of course. Personally, I keep a box going of books I realize I don't want and when it gets full I give it to Sonny to deliver - if anyone wants to add to the pile, let me know!

I've thought about starting something similar here and have seen headlines related to other such ventures (but haven't gotten to reading the articles yet) - at some point maybe I will....

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Safe driving!

Wow. Safe driving, bro. Hopefully you have enough pieces?? Is Owen going?

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


so,uh, this is my first post. and it is about baltimore. kinda. i got a call yesterday from my friend paddy in baltimore who said that a place called dougherty's pub was looking for me because i am suppoed to have a show there on thursday. but i didnt know about it. its possible i forgot but i dont think i ever knew. anyway, it is the first place i showed work outside of college and i have had several shows there since and it is the place i sell the best for some reason and so i like to show there when i can. so it took a lot of woking around the fact that everyone at work is out sick and on vacation but i got thursday off, so tomorrow after work i am hitting the road and getting into baltimore late and the hanging a show at 9 am and then seeing a couple people and then coming back home to providence because i have to work friday morning. so that is what i am doing, what are you doing?

Monday, August 30, 2004


I don't have cable myself and have never gotten into the whole music video thing, really. So no big surprise that I didn't even know the VMA's were happening.....

I did hear about the adver-wear t-shirt TVs present in the crowd there. Neat idea, but a couple of things bother me.

Isn't there some technology out there that would allow a flexible screen instead of a box embedded in a t-shirt? This looks so clunky, to me it seems almost as cumbersome as the sandwich boards of old. I have to think we can execute better in our day and age!

Second, I wonder how long the clips are, and how visible from how far. Does anyone really want a crowd of people staring at their chest (whether that's visible or in this case, utterly obscured by the box in your clothes) for more than a few seconds? Couldn't it get creepy as they bend and get in close for a better view? It's like having something tattooed in small font across your belly - everyone would crunch in to see! Ick!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The birthday gathering

Well, after the stress mounted so much that I actually spent Sunday and Monday mostly abed with shivers and sweats plus migraines, we converged at Mom and Dad's camp for my birthday.

Quiet - not a ton of people camping, mostly stillness in the campground. Green. Warm (how weird for our area this summer!), sunny, with enough wind to stir the trees but not to really put a chill on. Campfire. Family and J. Excellent food. The total detox was what I really needed.
Played LOTR pinball (cool, tho I'm not great at it), mini-golf (I actually won the opening 9 vs J and the boys), a family Cranium match (where I was forced to charade the Berlin Wall and the Great Depression - we lost), swam with Dan, hiked....

Ahhhh, peace (click to see better) Posted by Hello

What a great birthday!:) Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee:)
Plus, cool presents! A selection awesome champagne and Roelle family stuff from Sonny, a beautiful suncatcher from Dan & Tara, a peeps maker, beautiful sweater and poncho, Neverwhere on DVD, the list goes on!
Oh, and Little Mono - in my bday stocking from J:

The "mono/ kissing virus" molecule Posted by Hello

Despite the fact that work is constantly piling up, our place is a mess, and the house thing is still intense, I feel great, recharged, and ready to take on mountains!

Friday, August 20, 2004

Morbid-yes, cool-yes

Thanks to Dave S for pointing out this site!

Featured are pics taken over the course of 2 yrs at a British cemetary. Yeah, a bit creepy that someone put that much into cemetary pics, but there are some amazing images to be captured there!
Many have been animated - some start animation automatically, some you need to explore by waving a mouse.

Some of the pics are beautiful, though. And some of the animation is fascinating - and yes, one of those listed below did make me jump!
My faves:
Beautiful pics:

  • 4th cross in Spring
  • 4th to last in Winter


  • 1st and 2nd to last crosses in Autumn
  • 7th cross in Winter

Thursday, August 19, 2004

On a lighter note

Couldn't really incorporate this into the same post. I'm an Olympics junkie. As a confessed sap, I get really wrapped up in watching people fight to achieve their dreams. And I get teary throughout. Paul Hamm's comeback was incredible!

But have you seen the male Japanese gymnasts? Really good - got a team gold. I think part of the reason is they get some strength points from their Hulk hairdos!

Tossed in the wind

Like a leaf over an air grate, tumbling, rising, dropping precipitously, almost landing, getting swirled up yet again. Twisting and turning in the air like a gymnast, but a gymnast unable to land - over and over again.
That's pretty much how I'm feeling of late.

  • It's a migraine week and my stomach hasn't been all too happy of late anyway.
  • I turn 30 next week. Somewhat freaked out by that on a conscious level, but I think I'm very freaked out on a deeper level.
  • Three good friends have had babies this summer and I've been bad about keeping in touch with all 3. Lost one's phone number and haven't gotten around to calling her parents (she isn't online, can you believe it?) - so it's likely she's really mad at me for not calling recently. I feel like a bad friend.
  • The whole house thing. It's amazing. It's such a big decision. It's a huge commitment to a neighborhood, to a house, to a debt, to J (not like I'm not ready for it, but it is big).

I'm psyched, I'm giddy, I'm scared to death.
I feel that same twitchiness in my veins that I had before my first big work presentation, before a solo in a concert, before singing at Carnegie Hall, before going to Paris for 3 months.

Actually Paris is probably the best comparison.
I freaked myself out so much that time I basically didn't come out of my room for a few weeks and cried a lot. Was pretty miserable until kind folk guided me out of my self-imposed shell.

Hopefully I've learned more since then.
Hopefully all of these seemingly little but in actuality big and important things happening at once won't push me totally over the brink.

Keep watching. Could be my Gold medal match. Could be a train wreck.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

More bunnies!

Angry Alien has posted the latest bunny movie - Jaws! The Richard Dreyfus bunny is perfect! :) I'll probably watch 10 times or more today. People around my cube will wonder....

On another note. The househunt is officially underway. When we get a bit further along I'll post details!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Tale of a kidnapping

The final part of Mom's birthday present was a surprise excursion. Dad dropped her off at our house Saturday, and Mom had no clue. As we drew nearer to the port, she got more and more excited, but didn't know still exactly what we were doing. The present, a 2.5 hour cruise on a 53 foot catamaran on Lake Ontario.

Mom grew up on the lake and a large bay and has always had a love for the water. I've inherited that. It is so soothing, relaxing. Such an escape from workaday worries and the "real world". Much like watching a campfire. Ahhhhh. This is what I love about summer.

It wasn't the warmest or windiest day, but it wasn't raining, we had spots of sun, and we had enough wind to tool along at a leisurely pace. J and I had a most excellent time, and I think Mom did, too. Hats off to the great, friendly crew. Here's hoping we can take this as the start of a tradition and go again next year!

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Started watching Thirteen last night. We usually watch movies in bits and pieces - which is why Netflix is our saving grace....

In a way, I identify with Tracy, the good girl that gets wrapped up in the wrong crowd. A lot of us probably can.

My "rebellion" was on a much smaller scale - but it was enough to worry Mom. I was always the bookworm, good-girl type so little things like not coming straight home were a big deal.

Was it a yearning to be popular? To be the admired one? To rebel? Not really. I think I was afraid of my potential, my experience being limited by my grades, my non-sports bent, my country location. Starting Senior year of HS, I've seen myself pushing at those bounds. As the years go by I force myself out of my shell a bit more - but also more wisely (I guess we're all a bit lacking on the judgement side in HS).

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


Cuddling Parties are the newest fad to hit NYC. For $30, you too can sit with a group of strangers in pajamas and get that close, personal touch cuddling affords without fear of wackos, commitment, or other obligations. Well, at least there aren't supposed to be any wackos:
Cuddle parties are intended for people who are emotionally sound. People in therapy or who are seeing a mental health professional are asked to consult their doctor before signing up for a party and to tell organizers of their situation.

I can see the point, the need for this in a big anonymous burg like New York. Still, I find the cow part a bit odd - and disturbing:
An introduction to cuddling ensues, first by hugging three people. People then get in a circle on their hands and knees, rub shoulders and moo like cows. After a bit of swaying, everyone falls to their side, which puts them into an easy cuddling position.

Just weird, man.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Our buddy

Time to introduce our cat. We got Molson at the local shelter - and, yes, he came with the name.
Molson is a sixteen pound bruiser who startles passers-by, gophers for treats and hugs, and cuddles up close when I have nightmares. A really good buddy.Posted by Hello
He's a very vocal and expressive cat, and very spoiled.

Danny has fish. Sonny has a puppy. I'll try to get pics of the puppy, at least.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Where are the kick-butt female superheroes?

I mean, think about it. This article has a good point. We don't see a modern-day Wonder Woman. Buffy and Xena aren't big screen material, apparently, in Hollywood's eyes. Lara Croft and Kill Bill's Bride aren't exactly role models for the kiddies. Many cool kick-butt chics end up as side-characters (Elektra in Daredevil) or part of a team (Rogue, Jean Gray, and Storm).

Oh, speaking of super-hero teams, I love that Olympics ad. American athletes get calls on their secret cells and run off to save the world - each with their own "talent"/ sport.

Think of the great chics (not derogatory, I just think "women" is stuffy) on TV now. Syd Bristow in Alias is awesome - very awesome. Tru Davies doesn't necessarily kick butt but uses her unique "gift" to save lives. Why can't we get characters like that on the big screen?

Sunday, August 08, 2004

In Memoriam

Great-Grandma' - at roughly 95 years of age -passed away on August 6.
I will miss you. Although I definitely didn't keep in touch or visit as much as I should, it was good to know you were here. I enjoyed the Xmas cards we did exchange.
Rest peacefully.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Doesn't sound like such a bad idea

You may have seen this already, but the Brits are ready to bring the court jester back! I mean, they actually posted an ad!

But maybe it isn't so silly, really. The jester would serve as a distraction from bad news, a tension breaker. A "safe" distraction, rather than leaving leaders to provide their own with questionable government boondoggles. Perhaps the press would focus more on the antics of the man in bells than trying to unearth the most remote scandals possible.

To think of it, we probably already have some jester-like characters in Washington (depending on your political leanings, you can pick yours) - they just lack the outfit with bells and bladder on a stick.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Evil meetings

8 am meetings are evil. Especially on Mondays and Fridays. In a cold office. I just want bed. And sleep.

My two favorite types of bed are pretty different. The contemporary wannabe-designer part of me is intrigued by platform beds, especially as a reader, too, who never can quite reach the nightstand to set the book aside... (No good pics online)

But the little girl, comfort and safety seeking part of me seeks the fluffy luxury of down and piled mattresses and pillows. (Again, no good pics - if I had known I would have scanned some)

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Chips of all shades

I've mentioned before that J likes to pick up weird food. This can include weird flavors of potato chips. In PA this summer, he picked up Steak & Worchestshire chips for our lunch. He has bought two different brands of ketchup flavored chips - an off brand and Pringles. Weird and the color can come off on fingers and lips, but they tasted like ketchup and potato and they were good (liked the Pringles best).

(BTW, on Last Comic Standing Tuesday, Kathleen Madigan had a great joke about Kerry campaigning by withholding the ketchup - have you ever thought about America without ketchup? That's a weird concept - summer wouldn't be the same.)

Anyway, the best chips, by far were Zapp's Cajun Crawtators - spicy cajun crawfish - kettle-cooked and yummy!

PS - Sonny says he plans to get started soon - but the PC he has access to is down. - Maybe this weekend!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Forget the pics for now...the show!

OK, I can't wait for the pics any longer - when they come, if they come, I'll post them. Until then:

A warm, sunny July evening. A plaza full of folks of all sizes, races, ages, hairdos, and especially outfits. From caps and big suspenders and forties era skirts and blouses to stupid t-shirts paired with ragged skirts over sweatpants. From Spidey tanks and bowling shirts to polos and golf shorts - all were represented.
Behind the bobbing heads of the crowd, the horns echoed off of buildings important to Rochester's past and near future. Behind and above the band, trains rattled by in the trees. Below, the falls roared.
This was the setting.

Twin A opened, a fave of Jenny. Turns out I'd heard some of their songs on the radio and liked them. They were good but not on really long. Poor Aaron missed most of it.
The next band was, well, not my speed.

Then, 9 tonily dressed guys took the stage. 5 horns, upright bass, piano, drums, and guitar/lead vocals. Bursting with energy and up-tempo tunes. Not a foot in the crowd could resist. Explosive, rich sound, fun lyrics and having a great time on the stage.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy hit Rochester and the crowd LOVED them.
What a fun night!

Danny - why do some drummers sit behind plexiglass screens?

Monday, August 02, 2004

Events in August and Monday randomness

Roelle events in August:

  • Until August 14 - CW Roelle show at the South Country Art Association (see Sonny's site for details)

  • August 14 - Theophilus at Sodus Youth Fest - 4pm

  • August 22 - Theophilus at Penfield Days - 1:30pm

  • August 23-25 - Roelles gather at camp for Aprille's bday

  • August 28 - Theophilus at CrossCreek Church Youth Event

The trailer for the latest Batman shows something definitely different - as it looks like it doesn't even happen in Gotham... but Gary Oldman is in it, based on the pics! That makes it cool.

Took the first swim of the summer (sad, yes, but I do live in Rochester) in Dan's pool yesterday - so nice. I'll have to look into getting one if and when I get a house of my own.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

All in the name...

I recently caught the re-braodcast of the 48 Hours piece on Searching for Angela Shelton.Fascinating on a few fronts:

First of all, Angela Shelton and her story of surviving abuse and confronting it. The fact that 50% of the Angela Sheltons she found around the country had been abused or attacked in some way. So powerful, so moving (My name is Aprille, and I'm a sap. This was one of many shows that made me cry). To see the impact the filmmaker had on the other Angelas interviewed in getting them to tell their stories - some for the first time. I may try to arrange for a screening at work or somewhere - it looks important.

The researcher in me also found it highly interesting that Angela Shelton decided to sample the country by contacting as many people with the same name as possible. It certainly did provide a cross-section of race, background, lifestlye, religion, etc. An interesting perspective.

Of course, you have to have a name that will generate hits. Occasionally, we hear stories of name mixups. Jenny's name was on the news, but it wasn't her. Sonny says he found another CW Roelle (not from the direct line of which he is the 4th) online, but I couldn't find him when I Googled. My boyfriend (J) says there's a high school basketball star with his name.

In the Google realm, at least, Danny and I have a first and last combination that comes up with no hits other than our own.
So I searched just on my first name, which is unique enough that I was actually surprised to get some hits. Another cross-section, although leaning towards higher education levels - though that could be because I did an online search:

  • A writer/ computer tech
  • A sculptor
  • A NASA engineer
  • A guitarist who was in a high shool band in '99
  • A 2004 Ms Fitness Competitor/ speech pathologist
  • A parenting teacher/ social worker
  • A few other high schoolers
  • Someone with a ferret page?

I was a bit disturbed to find a really ugly jacket bearing my name and a site where you can morph your pics to see what you'd look like with cosmetic surgery.

In the process, I discovered that Aprille is not only the Old English spelling of the month, but that it is also supposed to mean "forthcoming". Sounds like a good name to me - lots of potential.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Bits and Pieces

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was awesome!!! But I'm waiting for pics from someone else, so I'll write a post dedicated to that maybe Monday or Tuesday...

The book I'm reading (see sidebar) is not highly interesting to me. It's a "classic" sci-fi collection of 4 novels from the era when Clarke and others were just starting out. Pretty imaginative for 1972 or so, but it's just not very compelling.

The focus of the first novel is the technology. Looking back, it really didn't have any meat, in my terms. All of the characters were superficial. And there was one tech gap that needled at me - showing just how little involvement I had in the story. Set in 2030-something, they're inventing anti-gravity, building massively huge things on Jupiter, and discovering anti-death drugs - but they're still using mimeograph machines. The image of a spaceport official looking at documents with purple, banana-smelling ink just doesn't jive!

What is interesting, and what motivated me to post, well, anything, about the book, is that the second novel is entirely character focused, at least up to chapter 4. I feel as if someone else wrote it. Maybe Blish thought that he had the tech established enough in the first novel and that it wouldn't make sense to go into explicit detail in something set 300 years later. I don't know. Of course, I do see equations and junk in chapters ahead, so I may have to retract this.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Port o' Rochester

Sunday we took my boyfriend's parents to the Port of Rochester to see the new Ferry to Toronto, the terminal, and other improvements tied to the ferry. It was really interesting. The boat itself is huge and that's cool. Personally, I was just as interested (or more) in the crowd lining the river to see it come in. Young and old. A mix of races and ethnicities. A mix of languages. Some wearing Lance's yellow bracelets, like me. Some who had brought lawn chairs to enjoy the show of the arrival. Neat that a boat can cause such a fuss.

The beach and port area were very busy, especially for a cloudy, chillier day. It was great to see the area so vibrant. I hope it keeps up. This town needs it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's coming to town!

OK - I'm just in a great mood. Got a really cool award at work -total surprise and good applause (plus some whistles)! Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! (that's a big silly grin spreading over my face) :):)

AND - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is coming Thursday night to the Party in the Park - not far from my office! This is so cool - they are so fun! Big band swing, with attitude!The horns are very cool and the personality of the group is very much in tune with just having a good time, from what I've seen from the Freeview concert. (There's a live DVD coming out next week, too)
It's a BBVD tune that my boyfriend and I have come across as "our song", too.

That will be perfect, given the stressful next few days at work! Great, fun music to wash any worries away!

I am so psyched! (And I've used a ton of exclamation points) And I think this good mood may even get me through a workout - but I better start before TVitis sets in.
I was going to post about seeing the new Fast Ferry this weekend, but I'll do that next time.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Full weekend and a dilemma

What do you do when you see someone who used to be a good friend (at least YOU thought so) - then turned a bit weird and scary - but when you see them they seem to be turning things back around? I wanted to go up to her - she looked as good as in the old days, before she started experimenting with various substances - but the vacant, scary eyes of not so long ago kept coming back and made me hang back. Is that bad? Should I have talked to her? Too late now, I guess. I guess all I can do is wish her well and happy and move on from there. Almost makes me feel like I lost her again, though. I hate losing friends.

Otherwise, a very full weekend spent entertaining/ visiting with my boyfriend's parents, who were in from Vermont.

Judy the resident elephant at the Ren Fest;Posted by Hello

Went to the Renaissance Festival in Sterling, NY. Much fun. Especially since it was Artisan's Weekend and there were many sales - I enjoy the artisans and the food a bit more than the performances - although the performances are good to set a tone - I just don't like holding myself to a schedule while there and would rather be exploring than sitting still too long. I think that is partly my boyfriend rubbing off on me.

Friday, July 23, 2004


Fixed it! Thanks, Blogger Support! (Apparently the block quote about Sentimental Favorites and the template didn't get along all that well)

Lance Armstrong's bike has a blog! And he (?) is pretty sarcastic....

Underground tales

Our house is full of books.  We both love to read and tend to collect them.  The book I'm currently reading (see the sidebar, which is still broken) isn't all that exciting, so I thought I'd tell you about some that are coming up in my long "to read" list.

Gaiman's Neverwhere is a tale of an alternative world that exists below the streets of London as we know it.  I think I've always had a fascination with the idea of a "hidden" society in some of the nooks and crannies that we may ignore everyday.  Two other books in my list also deal with this topic - but are non-fiction!
The Mole People by Jennifer Toth is an in-depth look at the real people who live in tunnels below NYC. Her goal is to dispel myths about freakish creatures in the tunnels and show the true personalities and dynamics of this society.
The Town Below the Ground by Jan-Andrew Henderson details the history of Edinburgh's underground slum - which existed for 350 years and was forgotten by history until recently. Henderson himself is a storyteller who has been conducting tours of the underground city for several years. 
Will get into more detail when I actually read them.  In the meantime, there are many more books to read!

PS - Sonny has updated his profile and Danny has signed up, so look to hear more from them soon.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


I'm trying to get used to the fact that this rather significant birthday is coming up.  It's easy on some fronts, not so on others.
I'm trying to keep up with certain "adult" things.  I know I'll have to workout more - well, after I catch up from recent slacking.  I'm paying more attention to teeth and skin, etc.
I also just started taking a multivitamin.  Figured it's the healthy thing to do.  Got an "Energy" vitamin because I thought it'd help the workout thing.
So, it's supposed to give me MORE energy, I assume?  WRONG!  At least in the few days I've taken it - I'm groggier than I've been in the last few months at least.  The only thing the vitamin seems to be giving me more of is trips to the restroom.
Can I turn 20 this year, instead?

PS, I'm trying to get the sidebar thing fixed.  If anyone has suggestions, I'm open.  OH, and the boys should be joining us soon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Sentimental Favorites update

Sonny's band, The Sentimental Favorites, will be playing Wednesday, July 28, 9:30pm, at AS220 in Providence.
SENTIMENTAL FAVORITES, Sonny Roelle and Geoff Griffin (Plymouth Rock), do their modern-nostalgic-post modern-folk-avant garde-post music accoustic - and oh so much more, see them hear them and walk away with a new outlook on life, guarranteed and improved.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Jealous pangs?

A good friend of mine, one of my best friends, is about to embark on an adventure.  For years now, she's managed to visit all sorts of great places.  The Great Wall and Beijing, India, African Safaris, diving in Belize, the list goes on.  My favorite story was the shark diving trip off of South Africa.  After a good day, with several sharks, on rough seas, they were finishing up when a big great white approached.  Seconds after the last hands and feet were pulled out of the cage opening - CRUNCH! - he bit right where they had been!
I love great whites and think they get bad press for the ancient, fascinating beasts they are - that is just so extremely cool.
Now, she heads out again - for a wonderful trip around Asia lasting months.
I'm jealous!
I'll miss her - although we definitely don't talk as much as we should!
It's not really being able to afford it moneywise or timewise that I envy.  I just can't imagine going on such an excursion.  I think I would get so paranoid about things not working out, about coordinating all of the details, that I wouldn't be able to plan anything at all!  I can see myself freezing up and just spending the time at home watching talk shows and reading books.
I'm kinda' pathetic. That's why I need friends like Kathy - to keep me going!
Bon voyage, babe - keep in touch, send lots of pics, remember us stuck in the everyday grind as you mingle with tigers and elephants, strolling thru jungles, deserts, and grand cities!  And stay safe!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Impulse buys

My boyfriend is a notorious impulse shopper.  There is a magenetic pull in the grocery store that draws him to some of the oddest, though sometimes suprisingly good, things.
  • One early example was a tin of Guava Paste.  We were never quite sure how to serve it, so we used the tin as a top, instead, for years before finally tossing it.
  • Once, when I was on a business trip, he bought Quail Eggs and Pickled Eel.
  • Hulk Jello - vanilla flavor but turns a great green with cold milk
  • Hulk cotton candy
  • A gummy Wolverine and a gummy Alien
  • Colored shrimp slices (you fry them)
  • A chicken that lays bubble gum eggs as it walks
  • Butt-ugly aliens
  • The latest - chocolate cotton candy bites - much like the marshmallows in hot chocolate or cereal - yummy!

Friday, July 16, 2004

Mirrormask - the news to date

To continue this week's Gaiman theme, I have to tell you about Mirrormask.
Written by Gaiman, directed by Dave McKean (an artist who's worked on the Sandman comics), and produced by Henson pictures, Mirrormask is an attempt to recapture the magic (in $ and viewer delight) of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal:
MirrorMask centers on Helena, a 15 year old girl in a family of circus entertainers, who often wishes she could run off and join real life. After a fight with her parents about her future plans, her mother falls quite ill and Helena is convinced that it is all her fault. On the eve of her mother's major surgery, she dreams that she is in a strange world with two opposing queens, bizarre creatures, and masked inhabitants. All is not well in this new world - the white queen has fallen ill and can only be restored by the MirrorMask, and it's up to Helena to find it. But as her adventures continue, she begins to wonder whether she's in a dream, or something far more sinister.

This looks really really cool!  I think Gaiman's work creates a rich visual experience and the fact that the characters can sometimes be, well, not quite so human means the Henson aspect could be really cool.
BTW, did I mention that Neverwhere, the BBC series that led to the novel, is available on DVD?  (hint hint for birthday buyers out there!)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Childhood superhero - the Hulk

Watched most of the latest Hulk last night. It was a bit tough because I was raised on the TV, not the comic, version of the story. But still fun. I liked the comic book effect of layering screens and POVs, thought that was done well.

Lou Ferrigno is so cool! As a child, The Hulk was my FAVORITE TV show. Nothing could keep me from watching.(One night, I got sick in the living room because I couldn't let myself get up and miss anything)I caught every TV movie over the years, too. Just a really good beast....:)

My boyfriend got me a Hulk bobblehead pen that I use when angry at work. A destresser.

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Bunny Thespians

Another link from Neil Gaiman's site takes classic flics, condenses them to 30 seconds and has cartoon bunnies reenact them. Very amusing! It's called angry alien and Alien is the latest clip. I only watched that and The Shining - the latter was great.

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Japanese answer to the MSN butterfly

I really like Neil Gaiman's blog (see link in sidebar) because I love Neverwhere and American Gods and am looking forward to more (remind me to tell you about the MirrorMask movie - what I know -looks cool! another time). I also really like the glimpse it gives into how he tackles the creative process. Walking with an author as he writes a book is much more insightful than most "inspirational" books on the subject. (Laurel K Hamilton's blog, though I haven't spent as much time there, also does this - and there are probably more.)

Tonight, as I do some catchup in Gaiman's blog, there are also several amusing random things. Such as: this ad. Here's an article to explain.
We've been talking about how baffling Japanese culture can seem (specifically, some of their ice cream flavors)at lunch - I think this ranks right in the same arena...But then, we DID come up with the guy in the blue butterfly suit.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Berry picking

Went blackcap and raspberry picking with Mom yesterday. Prickers and weeds, climbing over rocks, and trees eating my hair - but a good time! I love fresh blackcaps - a favorite piece of the country that you can sometimes find in the city, too. With mint ice tea to follow in the swing on the deck - a perfect summer afternoon.

Corn Hill Arts Fest today. Walked a lot and got pretty sunburned, but another good time - Zydeco, Abbott's, and shopping!

Friday, July 09, 2004

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Steven King in Prime Time

Just watched the second to last episode of Steven King's first prime time series: "Kingdom Hospital". Though I am somewhat upset that he borrowed so heavily on the Danish mini-series The Kingdom, I think the King series is very well done. I especially find the opening compelling and love the big anteater-type beastie.

Speaking of haunted hospital shows - did anyone catch "All Souls" when it was on UPN? Similar premise but a lot more ghosts and a lot more potentially evil things happening at once. That could have been way cool, but it didn't get any publicity - canceled. Hard to find something meaty on a canceled show from '01, but did find a bit here.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Who was there before?

I have a huge fascination with many facets of stories. That's the main reason why I love market research so much. This comes into play in a lot of my other interests, too, but I won't get into all that now.

When we were kids, we moved several times. In each new house, I would search and search to find something that might tell part of the story of those who had been in the house before. I was thrilled when I found a pick-up-stick in the closet of my room in one big old house. Kinda' sad, yes, but I was 7.

Not until a few years ago did I ever feel like "something else" had been left behind. I was reminded of this when I started reading Grave's End by Elaine Mercado, a nurse who has written about her life in a haunted house. Fascinating and some of it (the early, lighter parts) rang home. The sensation of being watched. Of someone in the room with you. An unreasonable apprehension.

In my old apartment, I used to get those feelings. I would feel watched throughout the house and the anxiety would occur in various places, but both were worst in the stairwell. I would race through it to do laundry, talking loudly to the cat or singing to myself as a distraction. I never felt much at ease there. This echoes so closely the early stages of the haunting at Grave's End, I wonder who or what may have been in that apartment. What was their story?


Roelle kid happenings in July:

July 9
Dan's band, Theophilus is playing at Phoenix Cafe in Palmyra

Until July 23
Sonny will have some artwork on display (as CW Roelle) at CBGB's 313 Gallery in NYC:
Help Computer! is the title of the show

July 22-August 14
(including an artist panel on August 1)
Sonny/ CW will be in a show at South Country Art Association in Kingston, RI (ref the calendar on Sonny's site

July 31
Theophilus at the Jammin' for Jesus Festival

PS - I've learned links! Still working on images...

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Starting out

I'm really just testing this at the moment. I need to check in with a more technical friend to find out how to insert pictures, favorite sites and blog links, and so on. But I had to start somewhere, so here it is.

If you're checking this out already, I'm one of the 3 Roelle kids:
Aprille the market researcher
Sonny the artist
Danny the drummer

Sonny and Danny should start posting once I have a chance to get the basics down and explain it all to them. Then we can get into the fun stuff - our thoughts, adventures, debates, and so on.

So, give me a bit to catch up on how this all works and then check back - hopefully it will be of interest!