I’ve lost that loving feeling.

I am no longer convinced that I can provide readers with interesting and fun postings, and I think it’s just best to let it go for a while until I get my blog groove back. I am struggling because there are things that I want to blog about, but don’t really feel that I can for a variety of reasons. Personal privacy, protection of identities, the sparing of people’s feelings… just to name a few. And to be honest, if I don’t see the point of my ramblings, how can I expect my readers to see it for themselves?

Thank you so much to all of you who came by to visit. I hope to be back fresh new and happy like you’ve never seen anyone blog before after a bit of a break and an assessment of what I really want this blog to be. I am happy to keep up correspondence with anyone who wishes… if so, email me.


Benefit on Saturday Night

Anyone interested in coming along?

Women United In Response: A Hurricane Katrina Benefit Concert
A Hurricane Katrina Benefit Concert: diverse group of women coming together to support the Myers Foundation’s Hurricane Relief Efforts

Saturday, September 24th 7 to 10 p.m.
Cambridge YWCA
7 Temple Street, Central Sq.
(off Mass Ave. near Citizens Bank)

Suggested Donation – $20

Please come and show your support. All donations accepted.

Scheduled Performers
Ching-In Chen, poet
Donna C(harles) Owens, poet
Gabrie’l J. Atchison, dancer
Koré, singer/songwriter
Dancers from Big Moves’ Phat Fly Girls
Monica Brase, singer/songwriter
Raquel Evita Saraswati, poet
Nicole Atchison, singer

I swear…it’s me, not you.

Yesterday I was supposed to take my team kayaking up in Rockport, but due to inclement weather we had to change plans and we went for a tour of Fenway Park instead. We followed the tour with lots of good beer and bar food at Boston Beer Works. Yum!
Marc trying on Steve’s championship ringThe Press Box

View from the exspensive seats at the .406 Club

Guess which way to the Green MonsterSeats on top of the Green Monster

The Team on the Monster

The Team at the field

The Team in its natural state

Yeah, well.

This week is shot.

I don’t even know where it went. A blur of work, stress, frustration, relief, late nights, sleepless nights, bad dreams, early mornings, heat, humidity, spilled wine, and figuring my shit out.

I am very belated at sending out props to my girl Ashbloem for inviting me to go get makeovers with her and Carrrmen last weekend. It was really dreamy. We celebrated our fresh faces by enjoying a fresh grilled dinner on Ann and Dabs back patio. Carrrrrrmen got surprisingly snap happy and took all kinds of crazy ass photos with her camera-phone. These girls rock.

Ashlee and her MAC magician

She is pretty as a peacock

I went for the smokey-plum look

The tasty grilled dinner

Carrrrmen is snap happy


Today has been a day of reflection. I went to a 9/11 remeberance service and spent some time at Boston’s 9/11 memorial in the Public Garden. I talked to a lot of people, strangers. But I was moved on more than one occasion by the stories and thoughts people shared with me today.

Wage Peace
by Judyth HillWage peace with your breath.

Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.Breathe in terrorists
and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields.

Breathe in confusion
and breathe out maple trees.

Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.

Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.

Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.

Make soup.

Play music, memorize the words for thank you in three languages.

Learn to knit, and make a hat.

Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty or the gesture of fish.

Swim for the other side.

Wage peace.

Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious:

Have a cup of tea and rejoice.

Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Celebrate today.

It’s that time again

… when I get itchy feet. I am about to have a big performance and salary review and I think it will force me to make some tough decisions about where life is taking me, or where I am taking life. I love my job, I really do. And the people I work with. But Boston is getting ever more expensive and I would like to stop renting someday.

This made me look at CNN’s top places to live in 2005. Think you could guess what they are? Nope, I couldn’t.

10. Mill Valley, CA
9. Chatham, NJ
8. Peach Tree City, GA
7. Middleton, WI
6. Barrington, RI
5. Louisville, CO
4. Vienna, VA (I’ve actually lived part-time there and don’t see the attraction at all!)
3. Naperville, IL
2. Bainbridge Island, WA
1. Moorestown, NJ

These all sound like fine places to live if you are married, have the cash for a down payment on a home and are ready to start having kids. Doesn’t Peach Tree City sound downright pretty? But what about the top 10 places to live if you are single? I somehow doubt that PTC has a great dating scene.

Well, the answer depends on who you ask. If you ask Forbes, they’ll tell you the top 10 is:

10. Philly
9. Dallas-Fort Worth
8. New York
7. Houston
6. San Fran-Oakland
5. Atlanta
4. Los Angeles
3. Chicago
2. Miami
1. Washington D.C.-Baltimore
(Boston came in at #16)

If you ask AOL, they’ll tell you:

10. Las Vegas
9. Milwaukee
8. Twin Cities
7. Baltimore
6. Detroit
5. Cleaveland
4. Atlanta
3. Chicago
2. Columbus
1. St. Louis

Clearly, only people in the Midwest voted in that poll. But it is interesting that Chicago placed #3 in all three polls (Naperville is in the suburbs of Chi-town). Hmmm. Interesting.

It shouldn’t be too tough for me to get the real scoop on Chicago given that I have a grandmother, an aunt, an uncle, multiple ex-aunts and uncles and about 9 cousins between the ages of 16 and 35 living the Chicago metro area. In fact, my cousin Matthew, is getting married in Chicago on New Year’s Eve and there is a rumor that I am invited even though I haven’t seen him in at least 5 years. That should be a damn good time.

If I haven’t linked to it before, this is a good time to link to my cousin Tim’s production company, Dark Tag Productions. One of his recent plays, The Safety Date, won Chicago’s “Last Play Standing” competition.

I haven’t given up on my dream to move to London… I’m just looking to see what else is out there for now.

Just have to share

I wasn’t planning on posting my feelings/thoughts about the situation down South in the aftermath of Katrina ( most of all anger, frustration and helplessness), but I have to share this email I just received from a colleague. He and his wife are friends with a guy who has just been through an amazing ordeal–

Warning: it might make you a bit emotional.

Hi ya’ll,

Sorry I’m writing a group email but this is the first time I’ve had access since the storm and I am dead-tired , but safe. Please pardon my less than stellar writing style for the same reasons.   I rode it out and it was quite something. I made a calculated gamble that the storm wouldn’t blow my house down, and it didn’t, but roof tiles came off and the bathroom window was ripped away.

I thought all was well and went to retrieve my car at headquarters (For those of you that do not know, I am now a full-fledged GIS professional working for Orleans Parish 9-1-1). I brought the car back home and parked it on higher ground up the street. Problem was, next morning my car was partially submerged. I waded thru chest-deep water to get to it and found it in about a foot of water. I was able to fire it up and back it up onto the bridge over Bayou St John. But this little sliver [his neighborhood] was now an island and my escape routes cut off.

I had prepared substantially for the possibility of staying by freezing multiple gallons of water, filling other containers, getting canned food, batteries, candles. I also had a bbq pit and fuel for that. My next door neighbor, an Englishman, and across the street neighbors, an elderly woman and her young nephew were all on the upper floors of our respective buildings. We weren’t going anywhere for a while but figured the water would go down in a couple of days. Didn’t work out that way…

I ate very well and shared food with the next door guy via a rope sytem since we were both trying to avoid going into that foul four feet of water. By having my car nearby I was able to make forays to it, start it up and charge my cell phone. However communication was for days impossible. I also had food and water to share with people wading by below who had nothing.

I lost electricity the morning of the storm but had water and gas thru Tuesday. Wed. morning I had neither. With the water not going down appreciably and via listening to the radio and hearing how bad things were getting around town, I decided it would soon be time to leave. It still is hard for me to conceive that this was only a span of a few days ’cause, lemme tell ya, time slowed to an imperceptible crawl.

Thursday night I decided it was time to go. I had several options. There was a sliver of ground two blocks away that was, from the sound of it, a helicopter rescue point. When I finally saw it in action on Thurs, there were 200 people wating to get picked up. That didn’t look good. By Thurs i was able to make some cell phone contact with my brother Daniel and friend Lee in Fla. Thru that network I received a message from my 9-1-1 boss saying I could come down to city hall where our emergency HQ was set up. Daniel and Lee quickly dissuaded me from what would have been a literally suicidal choice given the violence in that part of town. In my part of town, by the way, there was no such mayhem and everyone we encountered was kind and helpful to varying degrees.

So, I decided I would make a try for the helicopter spot. I had my roommate’s cat with me for company but knew I could not take him on the chopper. I had already spent days thinking of every possible way I could take him with me. I even built a raft and was planning to walk him thru deep water two miles or more to a place I heard was connected to dry streets.It turned out this way was too deep so I was told by a passerby in canoe. Also kitty kept getting out of his flimsy mesh cat carrier on test runs on the porch.

This thing was so confining that when i finally secured him in it there was no way to get food and water in without him leaping out. And, when he was in there he was so frantic he almost killed himself trying to get out. So, with great sadness, I set him up with all my remaining water, some four gallons in various containers, a huge bag of food, full clean litter box and a means to be both inside the protected stairwell and out on the balcony where he could leap into a nearby tree and climb down if necessary.

I packed a rucksuck with the bare necessities and set out at dawn on Friday for the landing zone. Before getting there I was able to get to my car, charge up the phone and make contact with people whose numbers my neighbors had given me. I shouted the news back down the block to them and bid farewell. To my dismay, the landing zone was empty except for 2 suspicious characters scavenging thru the debris. Fearful of being robbed, I turned to see three guys of less suspicious nature bringing a flatboat. 2 were pulling a third elderly man in the boat. I asked them if we could proceed together and, upon arriving at the spot, looked up to see a helicopter coming in for a landing. We only waited 1 minute! The two guys put the old man on the copter but didn’t get on themselves, much to my surprise. We lifted off and cirlced low over the city picking up others from various sections of elevated highway in the vicinity. What I saw looking down was shocking. I took a couple of pictures and will send them if the come out.

We then proceed to the airport. Upon landing, i decided I would take this eldely man uder my wing and we became travelling companions for the next grueling part of the journey. We had to stand for 8 hours in line at the airport with hundreds of others but finally were loaded onto a large military transport and flown to San Antonio. We had no choice of destination.

Serendipitously, my savior Lee Burgess with whom I had been in sporadic phone contact, had said that if I could get to Houston or SanAntonio he would have a plane ticket waiting to fly me down to Miami. After many grueling hours of more waiting at various points in San Antonio we were finally deposited at a shelter with a growing number of hapless others who came in thru the wee hours.

This morning Lee got me a flight and I took the old man, an artist and 86 yr oldWWII vet named John Sowley to theairport with me, got him in contact with a friend of his in Tampa and got him on a plane that left just minutes after our arrival. I am now in Lakeworth just north of Miami where Lee has graciously offerd to put me up for as long as necessary. He may be able to set me up with some part-time carpentry too.

As for the future I don’t know. I still have my 9-1-1 job but the future of that is uncertain given the circumstances. I’m not worrying about it now and will cross bridges as they come.

Friends, i have to stop now as I have been going on only a couple of hours of sleep a night for the last week. I’ll write again in a few days time. Hope you enjoyed the yarn…

Love, John

Wigalicious & the Weekend: Part I

Wow! What a three-day weekend! Here’s a rundown and some fun photos…Friday Night
Bar Crawl with a catch… you had to wear a wig or fake facial hair. Those who showed up without (you know who you are) either were given extra supplies we had brought to the bars or had the pleasure of Ashbloem drawing a curly pencil thin mustache on their upperlip with my eyeliner pencil.


The Cabbie thought I was nuts, but I was just having some fun

Doesn’t she look strangely like Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters?

Brinda and Ellen showing off their facial hair

The hostess Ashbloem starts the evening out in Blue

Trying on the mustache


Brinda wanted to play patty-cake all night long
with whomever she could rope into the game


Vic and Kevin decided to come dressed as bouncers
instead of wearing fake hair

Ashbloem switches to Pink

Brinda plays more patty-cake, this time with Chris

Joshito and Me

My obligatory shot of glasses on the bar

I don’t even know what to say… this just cracks me up

More photos from Friday night can be found on these blogs (eventually): Ashbloem, Superette, NotYoMomma.

More photos from the beach and Red Sox game coming soooooonnnnn!!!!