Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Nothing like a cold for the holidays...

Actually, I'm getting better, so let's hope the trend continues.
This weekend, however, I had to take it pretty slow. J was great. So awesome to have someone pamper you - make you a fire, special pumpkin bread french toast with a hint of Chambord, tuck you in, and so on. Made me smile a lot. :)

While sick, I finished Book # 32 - Smith of Wooton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien. A reread from long ago, these light, short tales are highly entertaining. As with fables of old, they are good character studies, without getting too deep or delving. I love tales that bring fantasy - faerie and dragons, to humble folk.
Book #33 - Quit Your Job by James Kochalka. I got this for J because 1)J was friends with Kochalka growing up and 2)Kochalka went to MICA, the same art school as Sonny - I didn't really know much about his work. The story is nice, refreshing - the cat element hit really strongly, of course. The artwork I'd have to get used to. Evident skill and all, I just prefer more Sandman or Batman style art, or even ElfQuest.

Happy Thanksgiving to all if I don't write before then!
We're gathering at Mom & Dad's - it's always a blast!
More later, then.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Molson's kisses

I like to take time to notice a beautiful sky - the perfect sunrise or sunset, light striking a cloud just so, rainbows. Since Molson has been gone I've noticed this even more. Often, when I've looked to the sky, something has been there for me. A gorgeous mini-rainbow or a jet stream throwing its shadows on the clouds by moonlight. I like to think of this as a kiss from Molson from where he waits with Milo. A quick kiss to say "Everything will be OK, Mama, be happy." Thanks, buddy....


On a totally different note - Book #31 - The Final Solution by Michael Chabon. The first work I've read by Chabon, but I know it's on the opposite end of the spectrum in length from The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay. A nice little story with a ton of good detail and a spirit/tone that captures the old British detective novel's good points (read "minus all the dry, dusty, glove-wearing boredom I've seen in Christie"). And I like the way it wraps up. A lot.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Charlotte thoughts 2 - more strangeness

Saturday dawned with another revelation about Uptown Charlotte. Its restaurants and shops are closed for the weekend! I know that I wasn't entirely wrong about people living in the area - there are some signs pointing to condos and more, but the place is shuttered on a Saturday afternoon. I see people about, but must make the assumption that most are tourists who will end up eating in their hotels. How odd to create an atmosphere so insular that it closes when most should be available to explore it.


Walking the deserted streets of the Queen City on a brilliant, warm Saturday afternoon - November in Carolina, the drone of bagpipes fills the air. (!)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Charlotte thoughts 1 - something slightly off balance

Charlotte has a beautiful, bustling (we'll get back to that in part 2) Uptown area. Walking through it, my initial impression was, well (have a headache so excuse the redundancy)... impressed. Tree-lined, broad, clean sidewalks. Cool buildings - and many more going up. Fountains on at least one corner of every intersection, often more, sometimes between intersections. Little parks and sitting places scattered around. Tons of restaurants (again, remember this for part 2).
But something felt - off.

And, after an afternoon of walking around, I realized what it was. There were no street-side shops. Correction - I saw a CVS and an Eckerds. All of the other stores are buried inside buildings and indoor malls.

What does this do to a city? What kind of statement does it make?
Brings to mind sprawl
planned communities (and later I did see Charlotte described as "planned" in a tourist mag)
The clean streets, parks, and fountains are very nice - but some form of vibrance seems lost.

What a contrast to the crooked, haphazard streets with their jumble of stores, historic buildings, etc. that I loved so in Boston!

part 2 tomorrow....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We treat you so many ways, you're bound to like one of them

This is a quote from a North Carolinian. Got back Saturday from a trip to Charlotte. Something about the trip or the company made me feel contemplative. My senses were heightened and I felt eager to explore the meaning of each stimulous. I felt more creative - took more pictures, wrote more down, also did some pretty good creative thinking for work. Kinda' neat.

Quick notes (pics are on Flickr):
The Westin in Uptown Charlotte has awesome lobby bathrooms - stalls are separated by real, full walls and have wooden doors! OK - weird to get excited about toilet stalls, but it was classy.

Finally got Jamba! If Jenny and Tina hadn't related the Charlotte airport Jamba story, I wouldn't have found it, as it was in an entirely separate direction from where I needed to go. But I did, had a Strawberry Surf Rider - tasty.

More of the deeper stuff in my next post and more of a relate to the motto in this title.
And I finished book #30 - Jarka Ruus - High Druid of Shannara, Book 1, by Terry Brooks. I've thrived on the Shannara books since high school. This one bugged me a bit because the "hero"'s love interest seems more superficial, almost just switched on, than anything I'm used to in the series. I have a feeling it could be a trap, but don't know for sure. Otherwise, it swept me away as always and now I have to get the next (and on searching for this link, I'm very behind and need to get #3 also!)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Help find Danielle Imbo

I came across this campaign and it makes sense to spread the word. Danielle is a 35-yr old mom missing since February. Oxygen has launched a networking campaign in relation to their series Relentless, which is a reality show about women who won't stop their pursuit of justice. Sign up here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I'm craving a good ghost story - Halloween is lingering, I guess. Tina posted a link on her blog. Anybody else have good links? I prefer the more potentially true to the showbizzy.

2 cool links:
A new Narnia preview - now I have to reread those, too! This looks extremely cool - and I should probably just look this up but it sounds like Liam Neeson is Aslan - excellent! (Hah, verified!)

Will Schaff's papercut photos on Flickr - The fireplace is very cool....