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?