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May 26, 2004

"known for his remarkable physical endowments"?

Ok. So I have two concurrently running family projects. One is the cookbook, based in my grandmother's recipes.

The second is an annotated family tree, complete with photos, if possible, detailing as much history as can be gathered, until things start to break up too far.

To that end, in between things here at work, I used my membership to an evil Mormon conglomerate website which is self-renewing and catches me off-guard some months, to tell the relative ages in the following photo:


Now, I know that my grandmother was the baby, age 1.
Her mother, Martha Malinda, far right, was 21.
Her grandmother, Abbie E., was 43.
Her great grandfather, Silas Maxim (or maybe Maxham), was 82! He lived to be 94! There's my hope for good family genes.

"[Silas] had an enviable reputation as an orchardist and planted hundreds of apple trees. He stored for winter 100 bushels of apples of 70 varieties and also raised plums, cherries, pears and grapes in quantity. His seven hives of bees provided sweets for the family. His greatest recorded accomplishment was the development of the famous [family] cranberry bogs (1880) which covered seven acres just across the road. He cleared a wooded swamp, drained it, dug ditches, divided it into beds and set the vines. Production was excellent, considered the best in the state, accomplished by years of hard work which resulted in a yield of more than 600 bushels annually. Silas was known for his remarkable physical endowments. He attended the annual [family] reunions at Boston and Sandwich [which still happen today] and his wit and quaint sayings were popular. He and his brother [...] and his sister [...] helped organize and start the [big reunion in Maine]."

I SWEAR I did not make that sentence up. It's from the family history!

May 24, 2004

in honor of kp duty...

here is one review of van helsing.
here is another, done by my friend Robey.

I'm waiting for Kel's glorious review from the Harold and Kumar premiere!

May 20, 2004

haircut revisited

So... today I had to dress up for work. Big meeting. Shirt and tie. You know how it is.

Now, since Monday, I'd already had two people not recognize me without the hair. This morning, I fooled two more.

Pretty funny when your friends don't recognize you.

I'm reminded of the time I went to Daytona Beach with some friends from home, and one, a grungy rocker kid with mutton-chop sideburns and mussed hair decided one day to go out alone, get a haircut and a shave, and a polo shirt. None of us recognized him when we got back to our room that night! Shawn started screaming and beating things with his cane in what could only be described as a severe state of confusion.

It was funny. We all had a good laugh. Especially Shawn, who, if I recall, referred to our newly-shorn friend as Charlie Brown. The change was drastic.

Much like Ann, who saw me for the first time in a week, dressed up without my huge mop of hair. This was a big change from me as the live-action version of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.

.kill .kill .kill

hate job
hate not having my boss here
hate utter stupidity

thanks juice...

now i'm contemplating my reading habits (or lack thereof)...

looking at the list of 101 Great Books that Juice linked in, I see that I've read 26 on the list, mostly because I was forced to by someone. While I will agree that everyone should read the "classics", I will also admit that most make for a BORING read.

And, most of them I read before high school. Some as young as 7 or 8, simply because they were in my parents' bookcase. I've only read a couple since leaving my sleepy little hometown.

-- Beowulf
Beckett, Samuel Waiting for Godot
Chaucer, Geoffrey The Canterbury Tales
Defoe, Daniel Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles A Tale of Two Cities
Fitzgerald, F. Scott The Great Gatsby
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Faust
Golding, William Lord of the Flies
Hawthorne, Nathaniel The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph Catch 22
Huxley, Aldous Brave New World
Lee, Harper To Kill a Mockingbird
London, Jack The Call of the Wild
Orwell, George Animal Farm
Plath, Sylvia The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allen Selected Tales
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William Hamlet
Shakespeare, William Macbeth
Shakespeare, William Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard Pygmalion
Sophocles Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis Treasure Island
Twain, Mark The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Williams, Tennessee The Glass Menagerie

There's a ton of reading I'd like to do, but most of it is contemporary. However, I would like to finish Kafka's Trial. And unlike Juice, I'm not putting anything on my "wish i'd never read" list... except one recent original Doctor Who novel that SUCKED THE WHOLE STORY DOWN THE TOILET in the last 5 pages. (Wolfsbane.)

I'm not sure I can put anything on my "glad to say I've never read" list. I mean, how can you be glad you haven't read something? The closest I can come to that is "Glad I haven't read Michael Moore's writings because I know how deeply angry and violent I would get if I did, and it wouldn't be healthy"... but to say that I'm really glad I've never read something? Really? No. I can't think of anything I'm glad I've never read.

I'm ashamed I've never read more on the teachings of religions other than Christianity. Very ashamed. Well, aside from Mormonism or Scientology, but I guess I'd even be glad to read up on them from a documentarian perspective.

Books I never finished? Too long to list.

Back to wishing I'd never read things... I wish sometimes that I'd never read the witchcraft and wiccan books I read in high school, at least at the time. I mean... really. They caused more problems than good at the time, but have given me a better world-view. I'm sure if I had been reading the Koran I would've been thrown out of school just the same.

May 19, 2004

baby season

So, I'm a neurotic uncle, Nala's now an uncle, and he's also got two more baby cousins on the way.

I talked to my dad at lunchtime, and not only is my friend Ben going to be a dad in September, but also my cousins Sue and Jeff are each going to be parents of girls in September.

Are we seeing a baby boom of the female variety? Everyone of Nala's family has had girls. My sis had a girl. My cousins are all having girls now. My best friend is having a girl. Girls girls girls....

Babies everywhere. At least Annalisa has a nephew now.

May 18, 2004


So, I haven't talked much about our backyard or garden areas, except to bemoan the drainage and garden patio areas.

Taking a cue from Evan, I've decided to try to list all of the planting (and pre-existing plants) we have in our yard now...

Starting on the West side, we have:
mystery bulbs (probably some sort of early spring daffodil or hyacinth... long leaves which have now drooped...).
Then a patch of gladiolas.
A peony (color yet unknown).
More mystery bulbs.
More gladiolas.
What appear to be Buxton Blue geraniums.
Some hanging baskets with white Wave petunias and some bright(!) pansies.
A HUGE row of daylilies (no idea what color).
More mystery bulbs.
A small Japanese shredded-leaf maple.
A boxwood.
More calla lillies.
Some kind of yellow-green shrub.
More calla lillies.
A sand cherry.
More calla lillies.
Another boxwood and another yellow-green shrub.
Short white mums.

Now the East side:
Hanging baskets (as mentioned previously).
Hollyhocks behind cannas behind dahlias behind mums.
Two rather old lilacs.
A forsythia.
Two yellow-and-green ivy-like shrubs.
A huge clump of hostas.
A bright red peony sprout.
A large peony (color unknown).
More hanging baskets.
More hollyhocks (behind everything below).

By the deck:
Irises (dark red with pink).

On the deck:
Window box with petunias and pansies.
2 deck boxes with Martha Washington geraniums and pink snapdragons.
1 deck box with purple and white flowers which I cant remember.
1 deck box with blue and white flowers which I cant remember.

wood-n't you be-leaf it?

And unlike some of the spam we receive, this company can genuinely guarantee that if you order from them, you will get wood.

HA! (And yes, it is safe for work).

an evening well spent

Last night, my friend Kristy and I organized the many recipes I snagged from my grandmother's apartment. Some that I had hoped to find weren't there (red flannel hash, Grammie Martha's Great Cookies), but others, like Russian Piroshki, took me by surprise.

Yes, piroshki. AKA pierogi, AKA varenyky, AKA pyrohy.

I asked myself "Why did Gram have a recipe (a well worn one, at that), for Russian pierogi?"

Well... my aunt's husband is Russian. Maybe that's why? She had a few other more exotic recipes, too. Not at all what I would expect in a Scot/Irish kitchen.

We also found her doughnut recipe! Mad craziness! Homemade doughnuts! One of my cousins got the doughnut pot and cutter, so they'll be the first to get the recipe... before I type up the book.

May 17, 2004

hell freezing over...

my boss just called me "GQ". HA! I think she needs to put her glasses on!

short short hair...

Well, I told the stylist I wanted it short. And it's short. Not the shortest I've ever had it, but not the shaggy mop I've been wearing for well over a year. Of course, gelling it up and going for the rocker-slick-but-shaggy look isnt going to happen now for a while, but it's clean, and MUCH cooler, and MUCH lighter, and I can live with the borderline-Tuttle-cut for a while.

And I'll probably go back to the stylist when it needs trimmed again.

Where did I go, you might ask. I went on my lunch break, so I couldn't go far... and the closest to work is Hair Happening. I was nervous, what with all the blue hair in there (and I don't mean punks). Three stylists were working, and two were with old ladies. I got the one who had just walked in: Dana.

And, for $14 (after student discount) I got a good haircut. And I tipped him high (even though he could've quit cutting after getting the bulk off, and I would've been just as happy!)

May 14, 2004

friday at last

I want to say something with deep meaning and insight, but all I can think is that it's Friday, and an end to this week which keeps digging at me.

It's spring, and May showers storms are making me crazy.

One last more observation about my recent trip North: it really feels like home. Sure, the tiny little town where I grew up feels like home, too, sometimes, but it's associated with some rotten memories of growing up. Driving along the coast or through the mountains makes me feel at peace, like everything is almost right with the world.

Once in a while I feel that way here, too. But here, I'm usually too busy just living to feel it. Work, work, school, house, work. Storm. Blistering heat. Work, work, school, house, work.

I'm going to try to ease myself away from email and web for a week or so, outside of business hours, and see if I can't recover some of the serenity I felt last summer. Right now, it's all getting to me, and I just want to explode.

May 12, 2004

weird ass day

so... it's been a strange-ass day. ever since I was absent from class this morning.

That's right, I skipped class. and you know what? I didn't even want to. Even though it's the most boring class, I actually wanted to go. Not that I missed being there, but I just am upset because things came crashing down right before I was to leave.

With my boss out, and our main systems guy out, the place is dark and silent, and we are without our guidance on most projects. And being without the experienced leaders, it's difficult to get things done.

We're trying to spec out SANs and such. 5 to 10 Terabytes. I know next to nothing, and my coworker knows next to nothing, and all we're seeing is 900 gigabyte systems and nothing is making sense.

So, I message Mr. T on my Sidekick, and he gets frustrated from all the typing and decides to call... so coworker and I pick his brain on network storage and local storage. It's fun. We learn lots. Mr. T gets to show how smart he is, but gets no reward (well, I'll have to come up with something... soon... maybe coworker and I can take him out for a beer or two...)

We get a quote back from one vendor (our "preferred" one) and it's MUCH MUCH lower than we had seen (and been scared of). We all did a happy-dance.

And now, I have to go learn about Web Accessibility. Fun.


Kelly put a friggin awesome review up of Van Hellspawn... check it out over there.

patio and gutters and yard sales, oh my!

So... Saturday is the German Village Yard Sale... 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Looks like we're going, and our friend Fforest is coming along, too. And maybe Kristy. And maybe my folks.

Nala got the gutters cleaned! Woohoo! In between raindrops.

By Saturday, I should know whether the utils say it's ok to dig. I talked to my dad again last night (to remind him about the yard sale), and he agreed with everything the call-before-you-dig people said, and my thoughts, so I'm excited. I just want the yard to be done. ASAP.

May 11, 2004

diana mckenzie

Well, I know she was never adopted by Mac, but, I just got email from Diana McKenzie (presumably Diana Fairgate Finnese) trying to sell me illegal copies of Micro$0ft and 4d0be products, too.

She must've fallen on hard times.

May 10, 2004

planting and measuring and calling

so... we got most of the planting done, and i did some preliminary measuring. today, i called OUPS (oops) to make sure we wouldnt hit any utilities when I was digging. and then I had to call the city because they dont mark for your water lines.

well, neither does the city. your hookup is your responsibility, but if the builder did it right, it would be 42" below ground, and in line from your basement to the shutoff in the alley.

so. i just need to measure where the line would be outside the house and draw a straight line to the shutoff.

now need to go back to work, reboot a server, and then see about getting some things at the hardware store, and some food.

May 7, 2004

stuff from palochi

Found this new list over at Palochi.

1. What is the “theme” on your calendar this year?

Lesbians of color, from Boston. It was the prize for knowing a quote from my friend Frances's website.

2. Do you read the newspaper every day?

Not every day, and not always the same paper. I mean, I get the daily Disgrace, and the OnCampus (weekly?), and the online version of the Lantern, and sometimes I pick up the Alive or the Other Paper, but those are both weekly. I only really have time to read on Sundays.

3. What kind of shoes are you wearing right now?

Big clunky black pseudo-dressy shoes I got from Nala

4. What magazines do you subscribe to?

Right now, Wired and USNews. I think I'm gonna sign up for Index, Newsweek, and maybe CMJ:New Music Monthly if that's still in publication. The CDs were worth it. Possibly Family Handyman. I'm not counting all the free IT mags I'm trying to rid myself of, but keep multiplying.

5. What is your favorite condiment?

This new mustard with tabasco I found. Yum.

6. What was the first occupation you remember wanting to have?

I wanted to be Batman. Or Matthew Star. Or ... a roadside orange juice vendor. I blame commercials... I have no idea where that last one came from but apparently that's what I told my principal when I was 6.

7. Are you a green thumb?

Not green. Not black.

8. Did you have an imaginary friend when you were little?

Not that I remember...

9. Do you floss regularly?

Embarassingly, no

10. If you could still hang posters of celebrities on your walls and get away with it like when you were 12, who would be on your walls right now?

KC Armstrong. The man has a body I envy, but am too lazy to achieve.

11. Do you keep shoe boxes or throw them away?

I have one or two for storage which I've been meaning to get rid of.

12. Would you be embarassed if someone looked under your bed?

Depends on which side of the bed.

13. If you could be one character in book, who would you be?

Um. This one I'd have to think about. Not Verna Ellers, that's for sure.

14. What do you sleep in?

Depends on how hot it is and whether I think I'm gonna get some lovin, but usually boxers. I grew up sleeping in pjs or underwear, since I didnt really have a bedroom till I was 12.

15. What is your favourite word?


May 6, 2004

cool photos, indeed


The baby is my grandmother, Frances. Approximately age 1. Holding her is her grandmother, Abbie. Next to her is her great-grandfather, Silas. And finally, on the very right, is her mother, the woman who we all refer to fondly as Grammie Marthie. Or Grammie Martha. Or Mattie. Depending on who's talking about her. Four generations.

Nala gets all excited about this photo, and I'll admit it is very cool, especially when I think it it the only photo of my (yes, I'm not stuttering) great great great grandfather.

I know photos exist of the 3 generations since then... and there's one with 4 that I have, but not including me. Someday, I'm sure Zora's descendants will see hers with as much awe as we all viewed this one with.

In the photo below: Frances age 94, Bill, Sue, and Zora, approx. age 1.


May 3, 2004

oh for a cheap hoosier cabinet

I'm drooling again... vintage kitchen/pantry furniture makes me drool.

Like this white Hoosier cabinet and this strange deco Hoosier cabinet and this crazy rounded one, and this one, like Juice's.

Yes, functional storage, and no cheap particle board.

weekend of slacking. and rain.

After a FILLING dinner at Hong Kong Buffet Friday night, we went on a bit of a shopping trip to a TJ Maxx, and drooled over some glassware before picking up a couple of deco picture frames, and sorting through all of the lesbian infantwear they had in stock.

And... saturday turned out nice, despite EVERY WEATHERMAN saying otherwise. We had sun ALL DAY. Whatever. Jerks. I think I will stop believing you now, and always have a back-up plan. I got a few things, but not much, when I was out shopping near Easton. Then, I found out Kill Bill vol. 2 was playing at Studio 35, so Nala and I went there for pizza and a movie. Yum yum. And a great movie, too.

Sunday... well, Sunday was a good sleep-in day. I got some dishes done, baked a cake, and went to Tommy's for lunch, with a shopping trip and a visit with the Picketts afterward, and I even got a ride in their new Plum-mobile.

I'm almost caught up on tivo from my trip, too. And Nala and I came to an understanding about furniture for the breakfast nook. I think.