wwcitizen: (Stone Angel)
We lost an angel last night. Joe DiMuro, a friend born in NYC roughly 60 years ago, died peacefully at home. He was at home with his husband of 25 years, in his favorite recliner, under his father's blanket. How wonderful to pass in peace without pain!! As his husband, Carlos, put it, "We should all be so lucky." I hope I am that lucky!

My post here is not a solicitation of sympathy, but a gentle, firm reminder to each of us that life is short. We must cherish our moments with each other for as long as we have each other, as friends, family, spouses, or even colleagues. Part of the human experience is to experience each other, everyone's personalities, our likes and dislikes, our discourse, our joys and pains, and our silence - in the presence of one another.

Joe, Carlos, my friend, Joseph, and I met on a dance floor in Philadelphia in the fall of 2002. Joe & Carlos at that point had been together for about 12 years, at about the same time where Matthew and I are in our relationship now. Since then, Joe and Carlos helped to open up my world of friends in the Bear Community. Through those two, I, and Matthew and I, have met, I would say, 100s of people in the NY, CT, and PA area.

Joe and Carlos have always been warm, welcoming, and generous. They opened their home to everyone with open arms and GREAT food!!

Granted, because Joe knew that I didn't really like the Beatles and he was a MASSIVE fan of them, he and I would banter for days online about their music, their lyrics, and... well, meh (<-- I know he's scowling at that right now! That makes me smile...). Truth be told, for the last 13 years, and now forever more, I will always think of Joe when I hear a Beatles song - guaranteed! Joe always glared at me with incredulity when I sang along with a Beatles song, him knowing that I don't like them. Surprisingly, I know almost all the words to the biggies. It always made me laugh when he flashed me that incredulous look with the subtext of, "How DARE you!!". I will always think of him flashing me that look from now on and I love that.

I love knowing that I made Joe smile and made him dance - even ever so slightly after his stroke a few years ago. He'd always shake his booty a little around me - even after his 2007 surgery - and that made us smile and giggle. He loved telling people how and where we met.

Joe, I will miss you. We didn't spend as much time with each other in person as we should have. Life got in the way and I hate that. I'm so happy that we got to know each other, get under each other's skin as we did for the time you allowed us to, and I will always cherish the memories we have. You were the Italian mother I never had, and the Italian grandmother I needed at times. Best of all, you were my friend.

I will miss you, my friend. Can't wait to see you at the concert.


Sep. 18th, 2013 02:51 pm
wwcitizen: (Rollercoaster Red)
There are many different times in my day or week when all that comes to mind is the strong desire to escape. Somewhere else or some other time draws me into daydreams and longings for being and experiencing something other than the present.

It’s critical to be present and live in the moment as much as possible. It’s those present moments that create the future daydreams and nostalgia, longings and memories of other times, happier or more interesting places, and people.

This escape is nothing specific to me right now or necessarily a reaction to anything going on right now, except that I’d MUCH rather be anything else than sitting at a desk.  I’d rather be out hiking, watching nature do its thing, walking around a lake in upstate NY or down a street in Boston, or sitting in a train in Europe heading someplace I’ve not visited before.  Perhaps it's the ensuing change of seasons that makes me dream.

But, my sitting at my desk right now is a moment that needs to take place in order for those other, better moments to happen and more interesting places or times to be. My present work day will allow me, for instance, to visit another place that Monet painted or where a Vivaldi violin concerto was first enjoyed. Putting in my time now will result in time off and freedom from corporate bounds for a little while.

Would that I were a business traveler again. I used to LOVE to travel for work. It was exciting to visit and discover new places or get to know a particular place far away from home. I loved having special places in other towns that I discovered and would visit when I was “in town” for a business trip.
Most if not all the places I used to frequent for dinner, lunch, drinks, or over-nighting in Brno, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, and Ljubljana, and even Vienna, Linz, or Salzburg – work trips – are most likely gone and part of history. The same is probably true in Leipzig, Berlin, Chicago, Houston, and Winston-Salem.
Having visited Ephesus and many ruins in Greece, Germany, and Italy, I often wonder how many cities I've visited in my lifetime will be relics and ruins of my time five or ten centuries from now. How will the earth’s surface or climate change that defines the future earth?

For those people who painted pictures in their kitchen in 300 BC, what did they daydream about? Did they ever want to escape and see or do something different than they were doing?  I wonder how many kids or artists with whimsy wrote their names on the inside of tiles before placing the tiles in a mosaic in their houses, like I used to do when I helped my dad build rooms or fix a wall. 

All over the place from Singapore to Kaua’I, Hawaii, I've planted my initials somewhere, all the while thinking, “Who will find this? What will they think? Will they look up my name and try to find out anything about me? What else will I leave behind that they will be able to find?”

It seems part of human nature to want to leave some kind of stamp on the world for future humanity. Is that all humans or a select few? It’s a select few whose existence echoes through the centuries – like Homer. Of course, not the “Homer” of Springfield, but will Matt Groening’s work survive the centuries?  Will school kids in AD2357 watch those shows in awe of “the way things were”?  Or will Space Balls inordinately be the societal ruler by which our generation’s Weltanschauung will be measured?

See?  All I wanna do is escape and be elsewhere doing something else, but simultaneously leave my mark somehow, somewhere, someway.
wwcitizen: (Smell The Flowers)
Happy May Day everyone!!  What does "May Day" mean to you?

When I hear, "Mayday Mayday Mayday!" I first picture airplane pilots in black and white war movies having mechanical troubles. They're going down in a blaze of glory. Then there's the "zzzzt!" of the radio going out as the camera pans back to military command center.  It actually has nothing to do with "May Day": It is an anglicized form of "m'aider" from French, which means, "Help me!" and is always said three times.

When I read, "The 1st of May...", I think of Maypoles (in Germany, they're called "Maibäume", which is a fun word to pronounce in German - "my-boimah"). I have visions of little girls in pastel dresses dancing around a tall pole with ribbons, wrapping it up as they skip and sing.  The Maypole history - in Germany - is how a "secret admirer" symbol arrived at a love interest's doorstep.

When I google images of, "Happy May Day", there are pictures of flowers, fists, Maypoles, propaganda, little children in pastel, worker marches, vintage cards, equality marches, flowery garlands...  What a strange mixture. I captured some here for personal posterity. As with most all "holidays", May Day has its origins in pagan celebration.

Interestingly, May 1, 1707, is the date when England and Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Over the last century and a half, the first day of May became in some countries "Labor Day". Hence, there are also lots and lots of demonstrations regarding labor, workers, unions, and the like.  Even though the US Labor Day bank holiday begins our autumn and is always the first Monday of September, worker and labor movements historically carry out many protests and demonstrations on May 1.

Lots of things converge, then, on May Day: flowers, pagan traditions, strife, fights for equal rights, riots, protests, Maypoles, love interests, political unions...  The pagans knew something was special about the seasons changing, the spring sort of ending on April 30 and the summer sort of beginning on May 1.  The welling up of the human experience in a way.  From the statement, "April showers bring May flowers...", the expectation is set that so much will change when May comes around; there are brighter days ahead. People hope for change on May 1.

I place my hopes in positive change!  HAPPY MAY DAY!!Pictures... )
wwcitizen: (NC - Lighthouse)
My birth state is NC.  My heritage and roots very deep there. Over 250 years of my family have been born there, have moved away from there into other parts of the country and world, and have died there. My family's burial plot is surrounded by magnolias and dogwoods. I was reminded of my strong and proud NC heritage today when the copy of my birth certificate arrived noting both my parents as "born in NC". 

I'm actually from "Down East", which is part of the area called the Coastal Plains. Growing up in North Carolina, we learned about the state's three distinct geographical areas: the Coastal Plains (first, cuz that's where we were), the Piedmont (named for the rock under the section and where my grandparents hailed), and the Mountains (the Appalachians).  We also learned about the state bird (the cardinal), the state flower (the dogwood), and the state tree (the Loblolly pine).  It's amazing how little tidbits of useless information get put into our little heads as children and stick with us throughout our lives. Even the term Tar Heel, a siblinghood into which NC descendants are born and to which I undoubtedly and unapologetically belong.  The Tar Heel is NOT (necessarily) a student of or graduate from UNC Chapel Hill, but, alas, modern times have given way to that bastardization of the term. Happily, UNC-CH uses the term "Tarheels", not "Tar Heels" - notice the separation. 

This is a poem about the Tar Heels:
"Here's to the land of the Long Leaf Pine.
The Summer land where the Sun doth Shine.
Where the Weak grow Strong and the Strong grow Great.
Here's to North Carolina, the good Old Tar Heel State."

Isn't that majestic?  Written back during times when people wrote more eloquently and when penning one's pride in his/her heritage or a state-based patriotism wasn't considered nationalism or fascist. 

I love North Carolina and I love being from there. I also love New Jersey and now calling NJ my home.  I really enjoy returning to NC and visiting places I've known all my life. There are few areas of NC I can say that I have yet to discover or visit. I love to have been born in Greenville; growing up there was pretty awesome (till I was bullied in high school and church for being gay to the point that I felt the need to move).

I would venture to say that of the Southern States, NC is probably the most progressive and (dare I say) the most liberal.  It, therefore, really shocks me - and saddens me - that there is a great effort right now to add an amendment to the state's constitution that would ban same-sex marriages.  I do really hope that North Carolinians (not all Tar Heels, I'm afraid) do the right thing and vote against the amendment. Please vote against Amendment One, if you're registered to vote in NC.

It's sad to think that NC won't recognize legally married same-sex couples - even now.  When Matt and I are able get married legally in NJ and we have our marriage certificate in hand, and then cross the border into NC, my home state won't recognize us and many other same-sex couples as legally married couples.  It's disappointing that within the 2nd decade of the 21st century (!!) same-sex marriage is such a big issue. Antiquated, misinformed, misguided Christian theologies are swaying the legal decisions of not only my home state but other states trying to maintain my minority as second-class citizens. What happened to the Separation of Church and State?!

I hope that North Carolina does the right thing. Please vote against Amendment One.
wwcitizen: (TV Watching)

Below is the text of The Final Speech of the Great Dictator, delivered by the character, the Jewish Barber, in Chaplin’s 1940 film, The Great Dictator. The Jewish Barber was played by Sir Charles Chaplin.  Watch the video one time through. Then play the speech a second time and read the text through (if you haven't wiped your eyes the first time through).  I had to save this piece for myself.

"I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible- Jew, Gentile, black men, white…

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others’ happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind.

We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery ,we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say “Do not despair.”

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder!

Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate!

Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written “the kingdom of God is within man”, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite.

Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people!

Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance!

Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!"

wwcitizen: (NC - Lighthouse)
Yesterday morning, I woke up thinking about all that my father has experienced in his lifetime and what world events have taken place during the 88 years of his being on earth.  Today is his 88th birthday and here's a short list (quickly off the top of my head) of things that have happened in his lifetime:

WWII, Korean War, The Cold War, Vietnam War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Desert Storm, Afghan & Iraq Wars

Economic Turmoil:
Great Depression, The Marshall Act (Germany/Europe), Reaganomics

Social Topics/Change:
Baby Boomers (he and my mom had 4), McCarthyism, Equal Rights Movement, Hippies, Abortion Rights, Prohibition (born during it and witnessed its end), KKK (membership peaked in 1920!), Gay Rights, Generation X-ers (he and my mom had one - ME!), the 80s

Governmental Forms:
Democracy, Socialism, Communism, Apartheid

Notable Leaders' Times:
15 US Presidents' terms (Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (1), Clinton, Bush (2), Obama)
UK governmental leaders - Winston Churchil, Margaret Thatcher, he probably watched Queen Elizabeth get crowned
Social Leaders: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Sinn Fein (IRA), Rosa Parks

US Constitutional Amendments:
#19-27 - includes Women's Suffrage, presidential term limit, legal voting age, and removal of the poll tax.

Various Factoids:
- Las Vegas, NV, is only 18 years older than my dad.
- Israel was formed as a modern state in 1948.
- Man landed on the moon in 1969.
- The NYC Twin Towers were built and destroyed during his life.
- The Iron Curtain was erected and torn down in his lifetime.
- My dad is as old as the institution of Social Security.

Notable Inventions/discoveries during my dad's life:
The TV (1923 - 1927), penicillin, FM (frequency modulator) radio, The Mayan Calendar stone (1960), transistors, Teflon, LSD, Barbie, many advancements in photography (including the advent of Polaroid photography and the speedy decline of film cameras), the hydrogen bomb, computers (yes, my dad emails!), the Internet, nuclear energy, robots, the microwave oven (1946), and 1000s more!!

Around my dad and throughout his lifetime, the world has experienced massive change - some good, some bad, and all expressive of the human experience, which I find fascinating. My dad has touched and experienced much of it.  Good on you, Dad!

Happy birthday!
wwcitizen: (TV Watching)
"Marjorie's telling mother how spoiled I am, how TERRIBLE I am. And Marjorie knew my father and my uncle. Mother's giving her all this s-h-i-t. So, I went and told her a few things about the family.

But in dealing with me, the relatives didn't know that they were dealing with a staunch character. And I tell ya... if there's anything worse than a staunch woman - S-T-A-U-N-C-H - there's nothing worse! I'm telling you! They don't weaken, no matter what! But they didn't know that! Wow, what they didn't know!"

Starting at about 13:27
wwcitizen: (TV Watching)
"This is the best thing to wear for today, you understand. Because I don't like women in skirts and the best thing is to wear panty hose or sun pants under a short skirt, I think. Then you have the pants under the skirt and then you can pull the stockings up over the pants underneath the skirt. And you can always take the skirt off and wear it as a cape. So, I think this is the best costume for today. *giggle* I have to think these things up, you know? Mother wanted me to come out in a kimono, so we had quite a fight." - [the younger] Edie Beale

(at about the 3:21 mark)
wwcitizen: (Residenz Into Wuerzburg)
There's a connection I have on Facebook that is like no other. The man's name is Heinz and he's from Germany close to Leipzig where I lived for 2 years after the reunification of Germany. That time in my life was pivotal to who I am today. That time shaped a lot of my basic desires for social change, social movements, and a healthy level of activism in one's personal life. Each day that I happen to see one of his posts about social things happening in Leipzig and eastern Germany again, it truly tugs on my heart strings.

Heinz posted a picture today of himself in a forum at the Gewandhaus (a concert hall) in the center of Leipzig where I had seen my first concert there. Heinz was the moderator last week for a discussion of unity, rights, and freedom, basic law and peaceful revolution. You can see him raising his hand in the middle:

Close to the Gewandhaus is where Leipzig's (televised!) peaceful revolution in 1989 began, around the time that I was in school in Paris and traveling through Germany to go back to college in NC. I remember being glued to the TV in 1989 watching the demonstrations move from Leipzig out and throughout the GDR. I had just come back from Germany and WANTED TO BE THERE! I wanted to be a part of history.

A mere two years later, I became part of history, living and working in Leipzig during the young years of social and economic change for everyone around me. Everyone was an expatriate, no matter if they grew up in the town or not; it was a new country with amazing potential and possibilities. It was such an exciting time and place to be.

I wrote this blurb as a comment on the photo to him:
"Heinz, your stories remind me over and over that positive change is possible. East Germany and Leipzig in my opinion represent a worldwide example of freedom, peace, and the world's human rights. The world's people (in contrast to one people) through peace chose for itself freedom and basic human rights. It overwhelmingly surprises me that since the reunification, not much more has changed in this world in the name of peace.

My country and city have in contrast changed drastically for the negative since 9/11. I wish it were possible for us to begin a peaceful revolution (here) that would balance out our civil rights. I often yearn to go back to 1992; I would love to experience those changes in Leipzig again through older eyes and my current Weltanschauung (perspectives on the world)."

(Here's the German version:)
Heinz, Deine Geschichten erinnern mich immer wieder, dass positive Änderung möglich ist. "Ostdeutschland" u. Leipzig sind zusammen meiner Meinung nach eine weltweite Darstellung der Freiheit, der Friede, u. der "Weltvolks-"menschenrechte. Das "Weltvolk" hat durch Friede insofern für sich Freiheit u. grundsätzliche Menschenrechte entschieden. Es wundert mich grossartig, dass seit der Wende sich nicht mehr im Namen Friede in dieser heutigen Welt geändert hat.

Mein Land u. meine Stadt (NYC, US) haben sich im Gegensatz aber ja sehr negativ seit 11.9.2001 geändert. Wäre es möglich, dass wir auch eine friedliche Revolution anfangen können, damit die grundsätzlichen Menschenrechte wieder ausgleichen.

Ich habe oft Sehnsucht auf 1992, als ich nach Leipzig umgezogen hatte. Ich hätte die damaligen Änderungen sehr gerne durch ältere Augen u. meine jetzige Weltanschauung wieder erfahren.

Trip Prep

Jul. 27th, 2010 07:08 pm
wwcitizen: (Airplane Travel)
Next week, we're heading to L.A. for six (6) days. In preparation for every trip we take, we do research on the area for events, restaurants, sights, history, etc. I'd never done that much research into L.A. before because everyone tends to know the big things: Hollywood, Beverly Hills (Rodeo Drive), Disneyland, Santa Monica, Malibu, Sunset Blvd., and even Ventura Blvd for America fans. There are many other places I'm sure I could mention, but those areas for the most part are the "go-to" places.

Plus, I've been to L.A. probably 10 times since I was 4 years old. The primary reason for trips out there was eventually work, but started off because of family; I have an uncle and cousins out there north of L.A. in the Santa Clarita Valley - beautiful area and many stars live up there. Sadly, we're not in touch with those relatives much, so we most likely won't make it up there to see them. Guaranteed, if they were in the NYC area, they wouldn't look ME up, so what's the point?

The last time I was in L.A. was for work when I was with a software company. It was a really good trip and I enjoyed every minute of it - yes, even the work because it had become second nature. This time around, it'll be a little different because Matt's never been to L.A. or southern California. In fact, neither has his sister, who worked in the TV industry all her professional life. She's never even been to the West Coast!! So, this'll all be new for her, too. It'll be exciting to see their excitement.

During my research, I remembered that there are islands off the coast of L.A. There are more than 8, but there are about 8-10 prominent ones. I started looking at them on Google maps and then looking for pictures and Wikis of them. Sure enough, there's a TON of information about them. The group is called the Channel Islands, and there's a whole Wikipedia entry on the Islands of California. Makes them sound exotic, right?

A few of them are inhabited - the westernmost city of LA County is Avalon, which is on one of the islands. For the better part of a century, various Californians have tried unsuccessfully and successfully to build up Avalon as a tourist destination with resorts and marinas - even a casino.

The other islands are populated by overseers of the natural resource area or national park. One or two of the islands are allocated for US Navy operations. One island that is 83 square miles has 2 permanent residents on it. Wonder what it takes to be one of those residents. Is it punishment or reward?

Outside of the hubbub of a city like LA, I find it interesting that there are places so quiet, desolate, or removed, that even though they're part of LA County, they're worlds apart from what everyone sees on TV.

I'll be posting more updates of things we might be doing in L.A. Top of our list, however, is to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] martini_tim and [livejournal.com profile] bigsabu!! That'll definitely be a highlight of our trip!!
wwcitizen: (BIG SMILE)
My eldest sister, Deborah, is a fantastic piano player. Our entire family plays the piano except my father, who had always wanted to play, but never found the time to learn. So, he made us all learn. Good thing, too; it's really paid off for Deborah.

She has played for the NC governor, in hotels and resorts, bars and restaurants, and even on a cruise ship once, I think. She was the pianist for a well-known dinner theater in NC back in the 80s and I remember distinctly that one of the shows was West Side Story. She's cut three CDs over the years of her own compositions and arrangements of songs, and has materials for another two or three. Hearing her music and piano playing is so nostalgic to me.

Deborah currently plays at a restaurant in the Grove Park Resort & Spa in Asheville, NC. She sent me a note this morning that she played for a lady last night whose husband founded the Gennett Lumber & Hardware Company in Tennessee, which I found interesting. There's a memoir mentioned at the company's website and I might buy it. For those who are biography enthusiasts, this might be an interesting read.
wwcitizen: (AnxiousFace)
I saw this post on one of my connections on Facebook today and REALLY liked the idea:

Call Pat Robertson at:

1 (800) 759-0700

Offer your opinion regarding the statements he made about the tragedy in Haiti. It costs HIM about $1 to pick up each call (because it's a toll-free call for YOU - he pays for the service!).

His statements?

"It [this earthquake] may be a blessing in disguise."

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. Haitians were originally under the heel of the French: You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal!"

"Ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other."

My statement was:

"I'm appalled by Pat Robertson's statements regarding the history, people, and economic woes of Haiti. They are unfounded and untrue. His statements have caused and will potentially cause more harm for than benefit the people of Haiti. Pat Robertson's actions are unloving, without compassion and entirely un-Christian. He should remove himself from the public spotlight and step down as the host of the 700 Club."

And, btw, I'm scared for his audience (whoever cares to listen still) that their "leader" talks to and quotes the devil. Who else would have told him about the Haitians' "pact with the devil" and how the devil agreed with them!
wwcitizen: (Cruise Ship)
Here are three albums:

Helsinki, Finland

St. Petersburg, Russia - The Hermitage Only

St. Petersburg, Russia - The State Russian Museum & the Church of the Spilled Blood (that's the church's short name)

I separated out my pictures from St. Petersburg into three albums (currently working on the third), so that if someone only wants to see museums, they can, or if they want to see city, they can, and neither will have to fast-forward through the things they don't wanna see. Hope you enjoy these.
wwcitizen: (BlackBerryFanatic)
Here are the rules - post this list on your profile (in Notes) replacing my answers with yours. This was easier than 25 random things... Tag 25 people to do the same thing (If you're on LJ, you don't have to do this, unless you find it cathartic or interesting). If I tagged YOU (which I won't do in LJ), it's because I want to know more about YOU!

1. Were you named after anyone?
My youngest sister.

2. When was the last time you cried?
This morning I briefly choked up watching a moving piece on the LOGO cable channel on TV.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
Sometimes; people say it's artistic and shows depth of character.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?

5. Do you have kids?
Not that I know of; my dad swears I have a kid - he's met my high school girlfriend's daughter and supposedly the little girl looks exactly like me as a child... I'll never know.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?

7. Do you use sarcasm?
All the time.

8. Do you still have your tonsils?

9. Would you bungee jump?
Yes, I would!! I plan to either skydive or bungee jump when I get down to my college weight (210 lbs).

10. What is your favorite cereal?
Grape Nuts or Muesli

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Not always; I also wear loafers often.

12. What is your favorite ice cream?
Mango sorbet. Oh wait, ice cream: butter pecan

13. What is the first thing you notice about people?
Their eyes.

14. Red or pink?

15. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
My arms - I'm working on more visible biceps.

16. Who do you miss the most?
Nobody, actually.

17. Do you want everyone to complete this list
Their choice.

18. What color pants & shoes are you wearing?
Lounge pants with polka-dots and blue Birkenstock clogs.

19. What are you listening to right now?
Stephen Colbert in the other room and my husband typing on his computer.

20. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Sepia, Mulberry, or Flesh

21. Favorite smells?
Pumpkin or drying leaves in the fall, peppermint in the winter, hyacinths in the spring, and roses in the summer

22. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
My dad. Oh wait, no, my best friend, Joey.

23. Do you like the person who sent you this?
Yes; she was the very first person I met at my last high school.

24. Favorite sports to watch?
World's Strongest Man Competition and the Ultimate Fighter

25. Hair color?
Light brown

26. Eye Color?
Hazel / gray / green / blue - depends on what I'm wearing

27. Do you wear contacts?
Only when I go out

28. Favorite food?
Fried chicken

29. How many places have you lived in your life?
Wow. Um... at least 15 towns (25+ places) - 4 countries

30. What color shirt are you wearing?
steel blue

31. Last movie you watched?
The Last Templar (LAME!!)

32. Summer or Winter

33. Hugs or kisses?

<34/35 were deleted from my list, but they were probably irrelevant>

36. What book are you reading now?
Personal Publicity Planner

37. What is on your mouse pad?
The VW logo

38. Favorite Sound(s)?
distant trains, country church bells (real ones!), my sisters playing the piano

39. Rolling Stones or Beatles?
Rolling Stones

40. Warner Brothers or Disney?
wwcitizen: (Open Wide-r)
The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. -- Cicero , 55 BC
wwcitizen: (Lion on Bridge)
I found this story amidst a bunch of websites after finding a pendant I wanted to buy for my Renaissance costume. The story was interestingly touching - about the old West and friendships. My dad loves roses as did my mom. I compiled this story from a couple of different versions and sent it along with the photos to my dad this morning. Enjoy! (Oh, and I don't know who the ladies are in the photo underneath the rose... they took most of the pictures)


The Lady Banksia

Worlds largest rose bush is in Tombstone, AZ

The Rose Tree Museum houses the world's largest rose tree. The rose bush was planted in 1885 by a young Scottish bride, Mrs. Henry Gee. Soon after Mrs. Gee came to Tombstone, her family sent her a box of shrubs from Scotland. Several rooted shoots of the Lady Banksia Rose were in the box. Mrs. Gee gave one cutting to Mrs.Amelia Adamson, Mrs. Gee's close friend and former landlady. The two friends planted the little white rose in the patio behind the boarding house. Surprisingly, the delicate rose not only survived, but flourished. In more than 100 years, the rose has grown to over 8,000 square feet and is supported by a pipe trellis.

Every April, the Lady Banksia rose develops millions of white blossoms. When you step into the patio and arrived at the right time, the fragrance will envelope you. Even in the desert heat, it is cool and dark beneath the 8,000 square feet of rose. In the center of the patio, the massive trunk of the rose is reddish brown, gnarled, oddly lovely, and still vigorous after more than 100 years.


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Stephen Lambeth

May 2017

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