Thursday, December 27, 2007

christmas v. stomach flu

beware the picture heavy post!

brynn makes a weird face

ed watkins is consumed by a stylish hat!

i'll try to condense this narrative into something succinct, you know, as succinct as a "i have a new job, a new place to live, and a new city to live in" as a post can possibly be.

i woke up at 5:45a.m. this morning with a pounding headache. i reflected it was at least better than how i'd felt the previous day when i was unable to keep down a mouth full of water without my stomach engaging in a full-scale revolt. really, i had a 24 hour stomach flu which led me to lay on the couch and reflect on christmas, buffalo and everything in between. but first, more pictures!

these are from christmas morning and christmas evening respectively.

around november 3rd, i moved to buffalo.

because i had no place to live, stephen and whitney graciously let me stay in their spare "dead-daughter" bedroom until i found a place of my room. christina's room. even though stephen loves to keep his downstairs @ 55 degrees, i had a great time while i was there. it was nice to spend so much time with friends i hadn't gotten to see very much in recent months, due to them being in buffalo and my stay in albany/cleveland. while there, i developed an unhealthy interest in battlestar galactica, started playing rock n' roll guitar again with stephen, biked to work everyday, listened to stephen's always interesting music and became friends with stephen and whitney's neighbors, micaela, kevin, and rachel.

i also started a new job

push has been for the most part a great experience. my bosses, aaron and eric are both incredibly dedicated, bright, and hopeful despite working in the second poorest city in the country. they have different styles of organizing, but they compliment each other nicely and they are truly the right people for the job. our members (even though they're all a little crazy) and construction team are also great. everyone really believes in the work that push is doing, fighting for housing and jobs of the west side as a means of combating the systematic oppression these folks face on a daily basis. to borrow from eric and others, poverty is not an option and people are the policy makers.

truth be told there is a little more sitting in front of a computer than i would like but, as alice walker via whitney's facebook profile says, "The real revolution is always concerned with the least glamorous stuff." i think that idea is so important. no one wants to make hundreds of phone calls, no one wants to stick hundreds of mailing labels but it needs to be done. things like updating our member list, sending out the newsletter, yeah it may not be exciting, but it's necessary, so i've found my peace with it.

one of my more interesting responsibilities is my position as the PUSH co-op liaison. the co-op is a large, nicely constructed boxy white building, designed to be a sort of revolving door to home ownership as the tenants pay a below market rent where $75 is taken out each month and put in a fund in escrow which, at the end of their time in the co-op, if they decide to use the funds towards a down-payment on a home, a partnership with M&T bank and the feds will triple the amount. pretty cool. so, in the meantime, i am more or less a landlord type-figure except that i am also charged with building community as well as addressing the tenants needs and concerns in a timely manner. in addition to creating homeowners, we're also hoping to strengthen community by encouraging the deepening of neighborhood bonds, especially with folks across racial and ethnic lines. in the co-op, there is a burmese family ( the father Zaw, a former political prisoner in Burma), a puertorican family, and augustine, a woman from the Caribbean. it's challenging having everyone sit down at the table and work together, but i think it can happen.

in the meantime, i've also moved into a new apartment with my brother Colin! 820 Elmwood. it's right across the street from the lexington co-op which is lame because they're not really a co-op and way too expensive for my americorps salary, but i do buy milk in glass bottles from them.

i drove home to albany with fiona which was super-nice.

more soon. i promise. including lots more pictures.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

sleepy fiones

i felt like a change of layout was a good idea. i'm sitting in my kitchen right now, and it's only 7:13, but i'm super sleepy! coll came over and we ate dinner, but barely said a word since we're both so drained. it feels like it's been cold, icy raining here in geneseo for quite some time now. alisa brought over peanut butter cookies last night and they're delicious! she's almost done with college! yay! i just walked up from the library and the air was so steamy, you couldn't really see in front of you. i had to buy two blue books, but i had no bookbag to put them in, so i asked the boy working if i could use one of the many plastic bags i saw shoved in a crevice (since it was raining out). he seemed very overprotective of the bags, it was cute. he said "those are for people who take out a lot of books" and i said "oh, ok. well, i have two blue books?" he gave me a bag. =) gaby had a rugby party at the house over the weekend, and the apartment is all decorated and nice! there are ornaments hanging from the wall! i feel like gab&i have been having a ton of fun together in this place lately-- it's been really nice. colleen and i went to mattie's this afternoon (i got lemon&lime tea, so good!) and talked about a bunch of stuff. nothing out of the ordinary, but it's always really nice. just how this semester is almost over, but it seems like it just began in a lot of ways. seems like yesterday we were fasting in september and figuring out how we wanted to do tgvl... so much has happened since then. we also talked about barack obama. i took a class this semester where people tended to wear their political leanings on their sleeves and we all talked a bunch about the primaries. people tend to think obama's got it. i thought a lot about that last night, and talked a lot about it too. about his really strong possibilities... colleen said he was also talked about in her poetry class, but more so negative things-- like the possibility of him being assassinated. it's so strange that we barely even think about that stuff... writing here always makes me really happy, for some reason. i always feel so thankful for everyone in my life when i post-- i guess it's since i'm supposed to think about what's been going on in my life, and for me that is mostly the people that i love. <3 my friend leslie gave me a big box of s'mores&hot cocoa [for christmas]! it was so great! i'm sad that gaby's moving out, i'm going to miss her so much, but i'm very excited to see emily again! and hear all about her adventures in france (i would say that in french if i knew how! i feel like that would be appropriate). i got to see harrison this weekend! in buffalo! he has a cute little apartment. i also got to see stephen, and whitney, and harrison's brother colin. they were all well. harrison&i got to see the golden compass and i have yet to shut up about iorek byrnison! he's the big polar bear! i want one! i have a big final tomorrow, and then two on friday. then i'm done. i probably won't go home till next wednesday though. my mom got a new job (the woman she works for is the mayor, but she didn't win re-election), so that's really nice! bill murray wants to take us all to see spamalot in schenectady. goof. i'm excited to see some people from home too. i don't know if working at price chopper will be fun all break though... we'll see. from my kitchen window i can see into big tree, and one of their eighteen dining rooms. i can see all the people. i wonder what they're eating... cold, wet, eggplant sandwich? gross. well, this was a long, rambling post, but it was nice to write out my feelings. i hope everyone else is well. miss you all <3.

this is france

well, i promised harrison if i didn't have school i would make a true statements update, so here i am. the reason i don't have school today is because this happend yesterday on my campus.
for a little background: this past summer in france a law passed called "Loi relative aux Libertés et Responsibilités des Universités" which essentially gives universities and not the government its own decision making, which would likely result in having tuitions (unlike our lovely state government system, education for the french up until this point was free), will allow for private interests to invest in university programs, and thus the diminishing of funding for liberal arts programs. the french students from all over the country started striking a little less than a month ago, and many campuses, like mine at Univ. Paul Valéry (Montpellier III) are blockaded by the organizers. this is the official blog of the bloquers. the campus (la fac) was shut down for 3 weeks after students blocked all the entrances with a barricade of desks, chairs, and doors and graffitied the hell out of it. then reopened it for week, where the only students capable of attending class were those in my institute (read: foreigners). and now it's once again closed, just in time to complicate finals. not that the french students should care... the president of the university officially declared that the students have lost their semester.

in other news, i will be home the 20th of december and i look forward to seeing as many of you folks as possible as soon as possible.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Talent nite in Buffalo!

So Fiona invited me to contribute months ago and I'm sorry to say that this is my first post. Well, I'm glad I'm posting but you know, sorry it wasn't sooner. Whatevs.

Last Sunday we had a talent nite at our house. Here are some pictures:

That's Harrison with our friend Jen Miller. They're telling one-liners as the opening act of the Talent Nite. It was more of a variety show but who's keeping track. Not me.

This is me doing an interpretive dance to the "tonal poem" Steve is playing on his guitar. It won "Beautifulest." I'm not lying.

Finally here's Steve tuning up:

If you need more proof as to why everyone should move to Buffalo and join in our fun, then your heart is not real. You're probably a machine or a Cyclon or a robot. And those kinds of things, my friends, are not welcome.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

On the home stretch

Hi Everyone,
I hope that everyone is having a great thanksgiving. I am in Baltimore at my aunt's house with a massive amount of family. It is really great to see everyone... especially when I have had a couple glasses of wine. Not kidding. family is always so crazy but I have just been embracing the madness and trying to bring out the crazy side in everyone.

So on the farm it has been really cold. The garden is basically done. We are harvesting a few herbs and carrots and kale, but that is about it. A lot of my time has been spent building a greenhouse with Richard. It is pretty cool to learn about and it could definitely come in handy someday. We have also just been preparing for winter by building fences and whatnot. The other day our cows all escaped from our pasture so we had to drive around looking for them and them herd them back about a mile. It is good that cows are scardy-cats and run away from us because if they really wanted to they would not have to do what we want them to. THen I would have to pretend to be a dog and bark at them.

Reese (the newly five year old boy in my farm family) has been hanging out a lot in my apartment and we are really close. I am going to miss having him in my life and he is going to miss using me as a punching bag. I am working until december 18th and then going home for x-mas until the 28th. Then I am going back to Hudson to farmsit for 10 days while my farm family is in the bahamas. After they get back I am going to leave the farm for good. I am going down to visit with my mom and James in Puerto Rico for a couple weeks while my sister is still there for her winter break. So starting february 2nd I am a relatively free man until I go WWOOFing in Europe, probably starting in early April. So I would really like to get to see people during those months. It seems that buffalo is going to be a high concentration of people. I love buffalo in february....

In general I have been really happy at the farm. I have made some really good friends in the area, although many of them are leaving now. It is a lot nicer to work 45-50 hours a week that 70-75. Now that I have free time I am reading and cooking a lot more.

This saturday Fiona, Kristine, Harrison, and I are going to see each other in Albany. I am really excited for that to happen. Expect sugar rushes and guffawing. I hope everyone is doing well and that we can all see each other soon. love, Matt

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

this year i am thankful for...

i have been able to communicate a lot more (via the internet and phone) lately, which has been really good for me.
going to saratoga for thanksgiving. i'm excited to see my family. hug them all. especially eileen. there have been so many birthdays lately. or so it seems. we had a nice dinner for colin tonight. on the women's rugby beer pong table-- a la gaby.
watched project runway at colleen's tonight, while eating cupcakes and mango ice cream and sipping tea. it was really nice.
it will be nice to have a break. driving home will be nice too. relaxing.
i am thankful for all of you, soso much.

all my love and more. <3

p.s. i know i've already sent that picture to a bunch of people, but i think it's really nice.
it's main st. in 1960.

Friday, October 26, 2007

frankly ohio, i don't give a damn

i'm way overdue for this, so i apologize to the true statements community. i had meant to post and meant to post and suddenly i was staggering under the weight of weeks of change, but, here we go!

why i left dennis the menace (for a shortened version, skip to the end of the post):

there were actually a myriad of different factors involved in my decision to leave the kucinich campaign and seek/get employment elsewhere(buffalo). first and foremost was the work i was doing; i was stuck in an office managing a national fundraiser and heading up a portion of student outreach. demanding work? check. valuable to the campaign? check. the type of organizing i believe to be truly valuable in a community and its inhabitants....?

what i mean by that is i wasn't hitting the pavement, talking to folks in neighborhoods, finding out what their concerns were and helping the cleveland community manufacture change themselves. instead, i was stuck in an office all day, slowly realizing that although i did feel like i was working well, my heart is in community immersion, i want to live where i work etc and organize that way. however, i still resolved to buckle down and said to myself, "fine. i can do this. i can do office shit for a little while" i could've dealt with that. i do realize it's the national office and that the majority of my responsibilities were going to be centered around life in the office.

the dirty little secret of cleveland HQ i did NOT count on though, was how dysfunctional the office was(and is), due to no clear staff leadership, and a divide between them and the campaign manager as deep as the mariana trench (or whatever the hell that deep deep ocean trench is called. it's in japanese waters, check it out, it's cool, they find crazy fish there). there was an old school/ new school divide and it really hurt the campaign. with no clear leadership, there were massive, and i mean MASSIVE communication failures in the campaign. no one knew anything for sure and the interns were left by and large to their own devices. which was not an always terrible thing, but, it's a presidential campaign, i wasn't really expecting a large degree of autonomy.

in addition to the grudge match between old school and new school, there were staff members on board solely to draw a paycheck. very disheartening on a campaign which is supposed to be all ideals. blah. there's a woman who gets paid 2k a month to manage the fucking myspace. ridiculous. all because her brother is the national media director.

regardless of the staff, i just became disillusioned with the failure of national electoral politics and i wasn't doing the work i wanted to do. it seemed as if i was assuming the collective guilt of the progressive wing of the democratic party. with every angry phone call i received imploring me how dennish SHOULD do this, or how i SHOULD listen to that i questioned more and more what i was doing here. after all, it isn't as if there aren't liberal democratic candidates EVERY election. it's not like dennis was advocating for anything particularly new, in the grand scheme of things. this pattern has not produced everything the kucinich campaign is advocating for, and, i don't think it will unfortunately. on the campaign, i felt like i was slowly becoming what i was trying to work against. "getmoneygetelectedgetmoneygetelected." integral part of any campaign definitely, but, after awhile, i lost faith in the honesty of the campaign and kucinich's ability to manage people/hire the right ones (more on this later).

let me be clear though, this is not my manifesto against politics, but rather a sober reflection of my time spent on a national presidential campaign. if anyone tells you there's no difference between having a democratic or republican president, with reasonable certainty, you could point to the war in iraq and say we probably wouldn't be there if.... i think, especially on the local level, being involved in politics (voting) is incredibly important and i leave the campaign with this belief intact as i head to PUSHbuffalo to do more localized work in the west side community of buffalo.

reasons why i left cleveland:

1. wasn't doing the type of community organizing work i wanted to be doing
2. got a job with (check out the site ) presented itself.
3. i did not feel comfortable accepting donations for the campaign anymore, knowing how much of a disaster it is.
4. i did not have a comfortable or stable working environment with some of the people i would work daily with.
5. everyone else moved to new hampshire and i thought it was an ample time to jump ship
6. student loans kick in circa Nov 1st and i need to confront that
7. i learned everything i set out to learn and am glad i left when i did.
8. i was gettin' 400 bucks a month to live on (just sayin'. i mean, very doable but still....)

that was a long one! i'm home in albany with my family until i start at PUSH on Nov 5! i may end up living right next to stephen and whitney! i visited geneseo for a week and stayed with fiona and gabby! it was great!

also, the one and only matthew lapennas came to visit for a weekend which was amazing. we watched sports, ate a lot, saw a movie about vampires and played basketball. solid.

i think i'm gonna slowly tell my repertoire of campaign stories over the next month or two... i'll keep everyone posted. much thanks for everyone's love and support!

Monday, October 22, 2007

this is to confirm that matt, colleen, and fiona, did see each other and hug on october third 2007; you should scroll down and read fiona's entry for more information

p.s. in real life they are much healthier shades of porcelain and golden brown

Saturday, October 20, 2007

b & w pictures and words of love.

(L-R feliks, lisa, tim, fiona, colleen, molly, ashley & colin.)

yay! blog post!

i thought i'd take some time on this sleepy saturday morning to say hello, since there has been a lull in my telling of true statements.

the weather has been crazy! it's supposed to be 76 & sunny tomorrow! and 80 on monday! whoa baby!

i really want to go to an apple orchard lately and buy apple cider and doughnuts, but alas, i have yet to make it out to one...

last night colin, tim, coll, winston & i went to a dance party put on by BSU, it was super fun. colleen & i were dancin' super hard, and i got super sleepy.

matt came to visit a couple weeks back! that was super nice. we [not fiona] made lots of good food. we also marched in the 175th anniversary of geneseo parade, which was really nice. we marched with Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace. it was just really nice to see matt. hopefully i can make it out to the farm once more as well, before he heads out.

harrison came to visit last week! he helped out with the last day of voter registration. we registered 662 students, 632 locally. i added a picture of tgvl that was in this new paper called the Genesee Sun Times.
we [harrison, tim, colleen & i] went to the Genesee Valley Hunt Races! it was great! even though we only stayed for about an hour. i think others are supposed to update on that bizarre escapade, so i'll leave the discussion to them.
it made me really happy to see harrison & give him a big hug.

it was really nice to show matt & harrison what we've been up to lately & introduce them to people i've been telling tons & tons of stories about. i only wish you could all come out to see us. or, i could send you snapshots through my mind! i'd like that better...

oh! and serena stopped into town on her way out west. we made dinner, talked it up and said our goodbyes the next day. i love her so & can't wait till the next time we cross paths & i can hear about all her wonderful new adventures!

been helping out with FARI's documentary. Take Back the Night is this week. public hearing on Lowe's on monday. i invited the nine candidates running for town board this election to infoSHARE on sunday & almost all of them are coming! woo baby! that will be fun/interesting. i've been getting really sleepy lately. i've also been making lots of vegan cookies! other than the first batch, which was a TOTAL failure, most have been pretty good if i do say so myself.

i love colleen with all of my heart, we have been so wonderful for each other this semester.
tim & i have been taking little jaunts to wegmans quite frequently, ranting about our society, and also ranting about our goofy classes, all of which have been lovely. getting to know colin & molly better has been wonderful. they both make me so happy. feliks is a goof & it's ridiculous, but great.
i'm so thankful for all of them.

i miss you all so much.
i wish i could just catapult myself all across the country (because we're all scattered) to see everyone & then hop over to france to say hey to em! i know we'll all see each one day though, and it'll be great!
julie's coming to visit in november sometime! yay!

all my love & smiles. <3

Thursday, September 27, 2007

bad about calling people

i'm really bad about calling people, harrison and matt can attest. it's not that i don't want to talk, i'm just bad at it. i hope i can rectify it with some homemade cookies though. anyone that wants some should give me your address. really, because i'm much better at making cookies than i am at calling.

anyway, school has been very good and busy. even though tgvl, spsi, and other groups can be tiring and frustrating, i feel really good about what we're doing. and knowing that everyone who isn't at school are doing great things as well makes me feel good. (i'm taking english classes and will hopefully eliminate "good" from my vocabulary by the time i graduate.)

we had a potluck at my house for the community garden and ken cooper came. we had an excellent conversation, and he lives up to the hype. his cooking is also delicious.

on saturday, me and some other SPSI'ers will be going to a huge march/rally in syracuse. people are calling for it to be the biggest one in upstate new york since Vietnam. unfortunately it's the same day as a parade in geneseo which GVCP will be marching in. i'd love to be here for that but i also really want to be in syracuse. i know fiona, molly, colin, colleen and other kids will be here to help them though so i think we'll be ok. we'll definitely bring an SPSI banner to syracuse!

feliks kind of showed me a backroad to conesus lake, which goes up and down some beautiful farmland. i rode on it after class, listened to the weakerthans and it was amazing. i also picked up some great tasting tomatoes at a road-side stand.

i hope everybody is doing well and i get to see you all very soon.

love, tim

From the Burlington skid.

Howdy folks,

Been a while since I've heard from most of you, but now that I've hooked up a router to my neighbor's computer I am once again a semi-active social member of the World Wide Web. I hope you all had a good summer. I've been living in Burlington with my younger brother. He just graduated high school and is rocking out for a year before college, working at an outdoor gear store. I'm getting my hands dirty in the fly fashion of our agrarian brother Matt, working at a local vineyard. It's a fourth generation farm, so sometimes I have random jobs like painting barns and driving cattle, but mostly I work out in the vines and make booze in the winery. It's pretty awesome. I have about a 45 minute commute to and from work, which is not very economical when you work on a farm. It's also not efficient enough for most farmers, but for those of us whose love for farming is matched by an equal love for partying, compromises must be made. That's actually false. I've been a total bum this summer, maxing and relaxing, and doing a very minimal amount of partying. Aside from work, I climb an occasional mountain and I fight gutter-punks (there are a lot in Burlington), but that's less for pleasure than it is training. See you all for the revolution, or come visit Burlington, or maybe I'll make it to Geneseo for those of you who are still there. Peace and hope.

Dan Badger.

Monday, September 24, 2007

ouai ouai

oh hey guys.
well let me first apologize for my slack on updating. i share a computer with three other people so i never want to hog the computer for very long. (and as you all know, a true statement takes time.)

so the long and short of it is that ici en france they play feist and of montreal on the radio, american accents are sex-ee, eating with your hands is a okay, the shops in montpellier are too damn expensive, the bread and the cheese and the wine are... well you know, the montpellier bikes for rent have neon orange bikeshare stripes, its hot as balls all afternoon, the public transport is clean and efficient and its a good thing above all because the driving is homicidal, people have GREAT HAIR, there are a trillion other etrangers (many dutch), everything is just the slightest bit different than back home, there's always someone sitting outside a cafe, nobody smiles to themselves, everyone makes eye contact when making a toast, etc etc etc.

my parents were here this weekend and i went with them to avignon (dig deep into your memory of 10th grade european history) and to other towns in provence. we saw one town called fontaine du vaucluse wherein the sorgue river derives itself from seemingly nowhere underneath this canyon of sorts. it was beautiful and it reminded my parents and i of letchworth state park. then last night my "host mom"/"host friend" florence (who is as charming, loquacious, and welcoming as a foreign students dream host) made us all dinner here in montpellier, and as we ate she told us about how her son's father left when the baby was ten days old, how he survived leukemia at age four, how she loves students and never wants to go to sleep once she starts reading a book, and hearing alll this made me feel so incredibly in awe of her and just the drama of everyday life. then of all feelings it was homesickness that crept up a little.

i miss the comfort of all of you, my favorite people, but more than any one person i just miss the comfort of knowing the language, of understanding every (or almost every) joke i hear and thinking about the subtext of everything instead of just focusing on the words themselves. i play this game alot where i listen to a pair of native speakers speaking french, guess what it is they're saying, and then ask someone to tell me in english. most of the time i end up projecting my feelings onto the words i don't catch (i.e. i thought two girls were talking about how scary it can be to walk alone at night and which routes they take; turns out they were talking about one of their masters theses.) but everyday is a new little adventure, and i'm lucky because i'm learning so, so, so much.

anyway, i have a stack of postcards for errbody but i need to buy some stamps! i need to learn the word for stamps! ugh, forget it, i'm coming home, this is too much.

alright so you can all call me on my french cell: 033 06 30 56 50 52. remember i'm six hours in the future. let me know how things are in the new world.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

here are some pictures from yesterday:

coll walking.

flowers that gaby bought!
tim at the TGVL table... with the sign that chip made him put up that reads "Presented by NOW"
wes & bob on main st.
coll at the art walk!
last night was perfect.
FARI/BSU's event was great.
cortez finished off the night with one of his great speeches.
it was really nice.

the peace vigil was lovely as well.
so many people came out!
arnie counted over ninety!
president dahl stopped by.

it was great.
i've been talking with all of you quite a bit, which is really nice.
i wish i could talk with emily! i miss her [you, if you're reading!] so!

i hope everyone's well.
colleen & i just got back from isaac's yom kippur service at his house.
it was nice.

tim's having a meeting at his house tonight to discuss the community garden.

i'd like to just sit for a bit tonight. i'm pretty tired.

miss everyone soso!
all my love. <3

Goings on

Hi Everyone,
So I am still playing in Hudson Valley soil and chasing cows. Actually, I have been getting chased by cows more than chasing them. The other day I went to the pasture to check on them and make sure they were happy and this one calf started to charge at me and then stop a few feet away. It was actually pretty cute and not all that threatening but I definitely gave that calf a stare down to back it off. Bovines can't handle Matt Lapennas' glare for long. On thursday Cecile and I made a ton of pesto because we have all of this basil and a frost is coming soon and the basil will die at that point. So we made like 25 pints of the stuff and it was fun. It will be pretty cool to have all of that pesto stored up once the winter hits.

So next weekend I am going to visist Geneseo and it sounds like I am walking into a maelstrom of acticity and stressed out folks, but I guess that is what happens when they are working like crazy people for TGVL, SPSI, InfoShare, and FARI. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone still in Geneseo and having a little break from work and the farm life. I guess that I am really realizing that no matter how much I enjoy the work I am doing, I definitely need a break from it every so often. I hope that everyone is doing well in their respective places. You are all in my thoughts daily as I pick tomatoes and feed the chickens. peace.

love, Matt

Saturday, September 15, 2007

So i guess fiona has talked a little bit about what's going on here.
since shes the queen of the telephone, Im sure a bunch of you are updated about TGVL and SPSI and what-not (julie term fits perfectly here)
This year, we've decided to REALLY push GET OUT THE VOTE. as much as we are trying hard to get as many students to register as possible, we are going to try hard as ever to actually get kids out to vote.

Im so thankful for all of you who taught me about TGVL, chalking, writing on boards...everything. I was always sort of involved with these things back home, but now i actually feel like I know what's going on and i feel more passionate about it then ever. How many times can i say actually in one post? (is actually one of those words that don't mean that much? that's 4 now)
I have about 7 class raps on monday (since i only have one class) and im very excited/nervous.

other than that, classes are going alright.
im in oil painting and photography.
poetry, brit lit, and hum.

falling in love with the cold weather
and coffee on my porch
( i carried a chair on my head all the way from brodie to my house)
and listening to the silver jews.

i saw meg yesterday.
shes alive
and living in a nice apartment in rochester.
the trees in her front yard believe it to be fall already though,
so they are shedding leaves and no one has told them yet that they are a little too early.

I can't wait for visits (MATT!)
I sometimes think about the little turkeys biting your ankles and laugh out loud.

miss you all.
and think about you in different places.
it's nice to imagine-
i have created idealized images of all of you, doing whatever you may be doing.
they may not be true, but they are what i have.

love&cinnamon coffee,
p.s. international day of peace is on thursday- we are having a peace vigil!

the clouds are flowing by so fast...

hey all,

it's a beautiful day in geneseo, new york!
the sun woke me up around 7:30 this morning, so i've been up and about gettin' stuff done, which is good.

my mom [eileen] just called. she's workin' hard for the primary election in saratoga. it was super nice to talk to her.

i really would like to go rent a movie today. i think i will. Quest to wegmans!

things are going well since i last posted. super busy. we started class raps this week. tabled. got attacked by chip. tried to get in touch with those running the "campus-wide voter registration drive" on monday, but they have not been getting back to me. yesterday colin, colleen, tim, lamron sean and i went to a democratic fundraiser. it was fun. talked it up with judith, connie, the usuals. collen & i also got to talk to this geneseo alum. who graduated in '68, and moved back here. he was tellin' us all these great stories of things he and his buddies used to do-- huge parade floats down main st., ice sculptures in the winter, giant bonfires with songs! he was lovin' it (and so was i!)

at infoSHARE on sunday, we'll be talking a bunch about ideas for the community garden. colin got to schmooze it up with a bunch of old ladies at the fundraiser. they knew a lot about gardening, so that's good news!

sept. 21st is the international day of peace-- remember, i always wanted everyone to watch 'peace one day' with me? well, there's going to be a vigil that night, and FARI's also having a big event right before, which should be really exciting! it's going to have a forum, discussion and singing! yay!

so, i'm taking this class on congress, and we have to register for the program called 'legsim'- it's basically a virtual congress- ooo! we all have to pick a district to represent, and then write up a bill and be on committees, etc. etc. but yesterday in class, we had to select a speaker of the house. i obviously had no desire to do such a thing, but once we were about to think of a way of electing one, i look up at the board and see that five males have written their names. i turn to the guy sitting next to me dan (tall, actor, funny) and say "ugh! there's no woman running!" and he says "well, you have to do it." so i walk up, put my name on the board and give an awkward speech on how i do not know anyone in the class, because i am not chummy at all with the polisci kids, and how i do not like talking about myself at all. surprisingly i made it to the top three & won the plurality and it ended up coming down to my old high school nemesis and myself. he won, which is totally fine, because i know very little about congressional appointments etc., but the whole thing was still super funny!

last night, colleen & i went to the brodie computer lab and took a bunch of pictures on apple's photo booth-- it was fun! except for those creepy fish-eye pictures!
examples can be seen above.
she makes me so happy. <3

so, alisa & i went to main moon the other day. see, she was supposed to give a club rap to the geneseo chinese culture club, but she was thirty minutes late and also forgot voter registration forms! funny thing though, she ended up staying and is now a card carrying member! for real though-- she has a card that gets her 10% off at main moon! =)

i'm super happy! everyone's been so wonderful! yeah, things are busy, but i've been trying really hard to take advantage of those few hours every day when i should be reading/writing and instead go and visit people or dance around in my kitchen to the song that reminds me of emily. gaby HATES the song, but i love gaby! today's her first rugby game, she was so nervous!
everything's good though. life is good. i'm good!


p.s.-- onto my own post!
i just rode my bike over to coll's, and it was so weird, because it felt like judith hunter campaign season outside! the wind/coldness/fallness. it was nice.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Passing Tests and Getting Pissed

Hey Everyone,
So, in case some of you haven't heard the news, nys has committed another bureaucratic blunder to sully its already tarnished name, namely, giving Matthew McKay Lapennas a driver's license. Yes, at the tender age of 22 I got it. So, I still try to bike most places but it is kind of nice to have because i have been a bit isolated because I didn't have a license or the energy to bike 20 miles after working to go visit other interns.

The work on the farm has calmed down a bit and that is good because I was getting pretty burned out. I actually am still a little burned out because I always get these crazy ideas after work of stuff that I should do in my kitchen. Making pesto and canning tomatoes are some recent projects that kept me up pretty late. Especially the canning because you have to boil a shit ton of water off before canning them. But it is going to be pretty cool to have those tomatoes come January and I won't have to be pissed about getting them from California. Unfortunately, now our tomato plants are started to suffer because we had a really dry summer and then the last few days have just been rain rain rain and that is bad for tomatoes because the tomatoes swell with all the suddenly available water and then crack. Oh well, I can still eat them, but we can't sell them anymore which sucks.

My brother came to visit me this weekend and we had a really good time. He got in Friday night and then Saturday he wanted to work a bit on the farm to see what I do all day (who really knows?). Then we went to see this Hudson River landscape artists' house. His name was Frederick church and he actually seemed like kind of a tool from looking at his mansion. He was alive at the turn of the century, but he just seemed really into himself. Then Jeff and I went to the Mexican Radio for dinner and it stunk. I paid way to much for some stuff and they totally skimped on the rice and beans. I mean, rice and beans are cheap so at least they could hook me up with a big portion. No such luck. Afterwards we were so disappointed that we went to a local pub and got some fries while we sipped gin and tonics and watched baseball. That was really fun. When we got home we watched 'Little Children'. Emily told me she loved it, and I thought it was pretty good as a critique of suburban insanity and the power of emotional repression. Then on Sunday, Jeff and I hung out with Cecile and Richard for a little bit so they could get to know each other. Then we went on this really amazing hike to a waterfall. It felt really nice in the woods and the waterfall was pretty impressive. It was probably about half again bigger that fallbrook in geneseo. Then I got Jeff some garden goodness and sent him on his way. Overall it was just nice to see a familiar face and have someone to hang out with. Jeff and I are pretty close and I have definitely missed him while he has been in California. I have also been missing close friends and family in general. I am certainly envious of all of you geneseo people who are surrounded by other awesome people constantly. To make my social situation worse, the three other interns that I was closest with suddenly left, two for medical reasons, and one for a job in the city. So that is too bad. But I met some seemingly interesting folks down at the pub the other night. They are this group of twenty somethings who started a commune/community farm about 20 miles from my farm. They are all really friendly and they invited me to come check them out at some point. So I definitely plan on getting over there sometime soon. However, I also think that I need a vacation. I have been pushing myself pretty hard work wise for 3 1/2 months now and working 60-75 hour weeks consistently. I still have to talk with Richard and Cecile, but I feel pretty confident that I can get 5 or 6 days away sometime soon. I would really like to come to Geneseo during that time. So I hope that everyone's floor/couch is comfortable. Basically, I really miss all of you guys and the wonderful relationships we all developed last year. However, I am holding on and still really enjoying my work and am still a pretty happy guy, so don't worry. After all I do love to farm!! Also, I think that Richard actually paid me a compliment on my management of the garden the other night!! It is nice to know that he actually does realize how hard I have worked at it and appreciates it. I hope you all are doing well. I miss you. peace.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"I would probably torture a baby for ice cream"- Matt Lapennas

Yes, Matt Lapennas did actually say that and yes, it really was one of the funniest moments of my life.

Life in connecticut has gotten steadily better. It started out kinda isolated (the most frequent visitors to my back door are not people, but deer and turkey. I am not lying.) The a cappella thing here didn't work out quite as well as I hoped, but this resulted in the decision to join the kayaking club. They teach you how to properly roll your kayak and everything! And paddle cause I don't know how to do that either! I don't even have a kayak! This should be an interesting experience to say the least...but tomorrow is the first meeting and there's free pizza, so things are looking up already.

For anyone who hasn't heard already, my roommate was pretty much sent to me through divine intervention of sorts. He may even be Jesus himself in disguise, but it's too early to tell. He's friendly, kind, funny, sweet, considerate, and relentlessly pleasant, but not annoyingly so. I say things like "man, we should really put up those smoke alarms" or "my desk chair is still in the box but there are too many pieces and I don't feel like putting it together" and SUDDENLY the smoke alarms are up, and my hot pink desk chair (no I do not lie, it is fabulous) is fully functional and sitting in my room. Today I wrestled with not one, but two routers for an hour and a half, trying to get internet to work in both of our computers. I left to go to class, and came back with a note on the message board that says "wireless should work now". I left him a note back that said "wait, why are you superman?"

Phil and I managed to scavenge these stools out of our apartment's dumpster area the other day that are totally sweet; the covers are christmas themed, one of them being many bears dressed up as santa and playing a myriad of instruments. We originally thought to re-cover them with something more aesthetically pleasing, but they might be just too priceless as is.

In other news, Harrison and I are both looking for a personal back masseuse. I finally have the internet in my apartment. Matt Lapennas loves to pick cabbages. Fiones will not stop making cooks. How about everybody else?


Sunday, September 9, 2007

coll & fiones take on the world [geneseo]!

after what seemed like a never ending heatwave (ninety+ every day), the rain is finally coming down! it's actually pretty calming. walking up court st. last night i was getting soaked, but it was nice.

things are going going in geneseo, ny. as always, i cannot believe how fast the time is going. it's already the end of the second week! whoa! the weeks have been busier than ever, and the weekends filled with walks around the village and down court st. colleen & i walked through campus last night (after trying to register people to vote at late knight- no one was there), and it was a crazy flashback of last year. emily wasn't in her dorm though, and we weren't walking to matt's. the boys (julian, noah, isaac... and their five other housemates, yep five!) recently taught me how to play this game called 'spoons'. it's super fun, but seeing as i'm pretty bad at competitive games, you can imagine my face [my smile], when i realized that for the first two rounds i had been playing completely wrong. it's still fun though!

this friday was quite eventful. a bunch of us tabled for the anti-war group (spsi), and then a few of us (colin, tim a., tim m., colleen and me) met with ken cooper to talk about the idea of starting a community garden on campus- it was super great, and we're all really excited! at five, about seven of us biked to wegmans. colin gave me a bike (it's a free spirit!) that he had found on the side of the road. i love it, but the gears are definitely not the greatest (kinda sounds like the pedals/gears are going to fall off), so trying to get up north st. was quite the work out. tim m. came to the rescue though! advising me as to which gears i should try, it was great. ("thanks tim! thanks tim!") i wasn't able to make it to the spsi meeting on thursday, because i had to go rochester with phil, bob and co. to get some tips on polling and gotv, but apparently a bunch of new faces stopped by! when i came to the table on friday, i saw that someone was named winston and got super excited! when i met him later on in the day (he came with us on critical mass) the following encounter ensued:
"hi, i'm winston."
"when i saw your name on the sign-up sheet, i got all excited and said 'oo! his name is winston! i want to meet him!' it's such a cool name! my name is fiona."
"that's a cool name too."
"yep. we're both unique."
as you can imagine, winston and i stayed close together whilst biking so that i could say his name over & over- i really like him a lot! he's a creative writing and black studies major.

later that night, after attending a potluck at colin's (the food was DELICIOUS!), colleen & i walked back, and after trying to unlock my door i realized i had taken the wrong key! gaby was in rochester for the weekend visiting her boyfriend matt, so i ended up spending the night at coll's. we went to bed pretty early, after i made her watch snippets of 'gothika' and 'the twilight zone movie'. the latter of which i have seen on many an occasion. it's so strange. i'm so thankful for colleen. we have been feeding off each other quite a bit, and it's been really nice. we were going over voter reg. forms last night, profanity and insane laughter followed- especially when colleen saw the result of last year's primaries:
SEVEN FIONA?????!!!!"
i love her so.

the next morning i called julian to see if he could try to pick my lock, because i wanted to wait to call dominic till i absolutely had to. julian and his roommate igor (super cool kid), tried for almost forty-five minutes (all while sweating bullets!) to open my door, but sadly, were unsuccessful. and of course, being the sweethearts that they are, left with numerous "sorry fiones!"'s, even though they had nothing to apologize for. eventually i worked up the courage to call dominic whose response was "you need to bring your keys around with you. you'd be out of lock if i wasn't around this weekend."

taryn's coming to visit today! i'm happy! we were going to go for a hike in letchworth, but now that it's so rainy we'll have to figure something else out. we're all going to make dinner (taryn will make something delicious!)- it'll be great! FARI's having their first meeting tonight! i decided to move the infoSHARE time a little earlier, so that we could all attend FARI, since they really want us to come. i hope everything goes well for them!
well, this was a super long entry. i guess they usually are. 'she drives me crazy' just came up on shuffle on iTunes! =) i made cooks yesterday! they got a little burned, but other than that, pretty good!

tgvl is going well. the women's groups are chuggin' along. community garden/clothingSHARE take 2. democratic fundraiser this friday, 175th anniversary parade the following week. things are good! gaby and i are great together, as well. i'm thankful for her.
in other news, emily's in france! woo!

i hope everyone is well. i miss you all so.
talk soon.

all my love. <3

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"i never told a joke in my life"

Cleveland is the epitome of the rust belt; desperately poor, incredibly loyal to the sports teams, burgeoning arts scene, great music scene and so on. all the money is in the suburbs, all the the jobs are in mexico and overseas but the people are still here. they are definitely still here and for the remainder of the campaign. parts of them are me, parts of me are them. it's funny to acclimate yourself to a city. to know it gradually through its twisting arterial streets, beating neighborhoods, Ohio City, Tremont, and the industrial guts of the East Side. it's a strange but pleasing slow knowledge which comes from making wrong turns, long trips on the bus and walks around downtown.

going out and about in Cleveland, like josef and i did on saturday, is probably the starkest reminder of why i'm here working for dennis. saturday night, we went to coventry village, and hung out in a wine bar, drank a glass of white wine with some friends we met last weekend, and then attempted to head home. as we stood at the RTA (Cleveland metro) station around 1:30am, proud holders of tickets 'good until 3am' the realization dawned on us, that while the tickets may have been good until 3, that didn't preclude the trains from stopping at midnight. so, after ruling out hitching, we decided to walk at least part of the 12 miles which separated us from home. we walked for a long, long time, down Carnegie ave, aware the further we walked, the more abandoned warehouses and boarded up homes there were. as both of us we used to cities, we traveled on, figuring we'd walk until fortune favored us with a bus. well, no bus came and the tired faces of old apartment buildings and shut-down businesses began to crumble even further.

i was reluctant to admit i was nervous. i grew up in a city, i'm a big guy who can handle himself okay, i should be able to walk a ways in the dark. in the dark. eventually, josef and i decided to flag down a cab. the driver stopped for us after about fifteen feet of hesitation and let us get in. when we told him how far we were planning to walk, and where through, he let us know we were probably in the worst possible neighborhood to be unfamiliar with at night. 'drug dealer prostitution central,' he called it. part of me always rails against such proclamations, 'whaddaya mean WORST neighborhood? you sure you don't just mean most-BLACK neighborhood or most POOR?' because in my experience, that's what most people usually mean. but, the part of me that was glad for a ride home in the earliest hours of the morning quelled my initial response. i don't think the driver really meant anything, his concern was more for two people who were clearly in a fish-out-of-water situation.

after we got home, i thought about it some more. it's no secret poor folks live in the worst areas of major cities. let me be absolutely clear though; these places are not terrible because poor folks live in them. it has little to do with the quality or character of the people there but it has everything to do with the services provided, the businesses who stay or leave, the landlords who either keep up places or don't, and the jobs which are there and especially the jobs which AREN'T there. i've seen it all my life in Albany, and i'm seeing it again in Cleveland Cleveland. and i'm sure as much as i'm tired of observing these situations, the people who have to live them every single day of their lives are furious and exhausted by them.

i think a Kucinich Administration could do a lot to change the status quo here. i'm hoping,with him in office, we can take steps to having inner-city neighborhoods where the services are equal, the opportunities real, and the fear and reality of street crime is reduced to the meanest ghost. yeah, yeah, i know; pipe dreams. but you better be sure that i wouldn't be here, that all of us interns wouldn't be here unless we thought Dennis could make a difference, alleviate some of the suffering of our nation and maybe even the world. i don't really have faith in him per se as much as i doggedly accept his possibility he offers the country. we still need all the help we can though. so, please, check us out.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

i'm somewhat overdue, like the little critter book circa 1993 i have from the P.S. 19 Public Library

so. cleveland. it's really defied all the expectations i had, both positive and negative. admittedly, the campaign is a bit less organized than i thought it would be coming in here. there isn't a real solid top-down management system and a schism between the old school (cleveland mayoral campaign) and new school ('04 bid) exists.

i've detailed the place i live here, it's the first entry.

dennis '08 is disorganized. this is true. what it means though, is there is tremendous opportunity for anyone with initiative. if you want hands on experience managing large projects, then this is the place to be.

i'm definitely missing geneseo right now. not so much the homework and the..... homework. but the people and the community. it generally takes me a while to feel comfortable wherever i am and i still haven't been able to fit in quite how i'd like here in cleveland. don't get me wrong, the other interns are great and i feel pretty comfortable with them, it's just i don't know how much i'm loving the campaign environment. more than the long hours it's the backbiting, rumor mill plague which seems to descend on any large group of people when there's not constant communication.

i also haven't been exercising besides doing push-ups and sit-ups in the morning. that's gotta stop.

i have found fun things to do here, i just don't know if i harbor the love of office politics, moreover the desire to be involved him which really is necessary i think, for a career in this sort of thing. if you think you get anywhere in politics without self-promotion, cozying up to those in charge etc. etc., you're dead wrong.

BUT! i am also enjoying myself. i'm working for issues i believe in, there are people who really care about them here. it's good. it's just different and i'm just a little homesick.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

machines, hand tools, and future plans (?)

Hello Everyone,
I hope that everyone is doing well and soaking up the last days of summer. I guess that summer doesn't really end until September 22 but it always feels like it is over once people start going back to school [not me though :)]. I have pretty much been working hard on the farm. My boss, Richard has Lyme disease and has been not working as much the past few weeks as he might normally. I guess I don't know what he normally does, but it seems like he has been taking more naps than most farmers would if they weren't sick. So, the result is that I feel a little bit like I have been assuming/having thrust upon me more and more responsibility on the farm. It is kind of cool because I am learning more that you really have to think about a lot of things and keep everything on a farm in balance to be successful. However, it is also a lot more stressful because I kind of get blamed when things go wrong more often. So I have been working a lot. The good news is that the family is going out of town for a few days starting tomorrow, so I get to completely run the farm. I also plan on taking some afternoon naps and taking it fairly easy to try to regain some of my energy.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to NYC to visit my step siblings. I mainly hung out with my stepbrother Michael, who is my age and about to start an Americorps position in Puerto Rico. He and I shared a room for a few years after our parents married, so we have been pretty close over the years and it was really fun to hang out with him and catch up. I also got to see my stepbrother John and my stepsister Bowie. Bowie just got engaged and she is pretty excited about that. New York was pretty overwhelming for a country boy like myself, especially since I am used to seeing four or five people on any given day and all of the sudden I was surrounded with people. It was a nice change of scenery from the farm though.

I just finished reading Pigs in Heaven. It was a pretty good book. It is basically about what it means to be american indian in contemporary america, but it is also just about what it means to be family. I am kind of a sucker for nice family stories so I really enjoyed that book. Other than that I have been reading books on farming and harvesting grains and hay with hand tools. So, look for me to be scything a field of hay any day now. I am definitely realizing how crappy I am with machines and engines, so I think I need to have a farm that is mostly powered by my sweat and some horses. Tractors are not my friend.

Finally, just a little update on what I am doing in the short term future. I am working here at Cowberry Crossing until the beginning of November and then kind of working, kind of travelling during november and december. I definitely hope to visit some of y'all during that time, but there are so many of you to visit and we all are scattered to the four winds. I am farmsitting here from december 27 to january 10 while they are on vacation. After that I am officially done here and am thinking of going to the Gulf Coast to do relief work for a month or two and then maybe WOOFing or getting a job on another farm that would last for a few months. We'll see what happens. I miss you all a lot a lot. Take care.

Friday, August 24, 2007

who's procrastinating? fiones is!

sleepy days, and sunny dresses

my sweet summer, can you really be done?
soon i'll be back to "work", and doin' what i think is right.
back i'll be to my beloveds, back to long, tired nights.
time, it sure does seem to fly...
thinking about my lovely life, sometimes it makes me cry.
it started with checking off the list with my bridgie
then off to adventureland with h, each day was new,
bright as the sun, like two little kids.
early mornings with b.m., work days were few and far between,
but isn't that what youth should be, at least what i dream.
making it my personal duty to change the minds of those older than i,
more than just chopping, talking about life, baseball, childhood, and the quick passing of time.
fanny packs, hundreds of stickered posts [ny], and shared grins with toddlers,
sometimes it's the people you call strangers that make the days worth going through it seems.
constant talk of the council, neverending phone calls, and possible loss of job.
days filled with tears, and fears, where one speech can make all the difference.
daily trips to uncommon, walks down the sticky alley
to the place where i borrowed so many texts and films that i hoped to fill my nights with,
instead i chose letters, postcards, the interweb, through which i expressed my love, and my stories, music and trailers.
trips down the northway, seemed to drift by without a sound,
quickly running down the contacts list, made it seem like you were all riding alongside me.
off to the capital, wsl, and that tall kid on the farm.
so many cooks, so many laughs, so much was "false", yet true at the same time.
evenings in the heat-filled church, lemonade from the mix, the mate for conversations in broken english,
desperately trying to connect with those whose lives i can only hope to understand.
now i'm off to big blue, where i embark on a new Quest.
excited about new adventures, with the old and the new.
more coffs, more talks, more sharing, more =).

i hope everyone is happy and well.
talk soon.
all my love.
<3 fiones

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It has come to my attention that I do, in fact, have eyebrows

Last night, I made a grave mistake.
Being one of 2 colorblind members of my household (once, my dad inadvertantly bought a hot pink power cord for the firehouse he is chief of, and was promptly and continuously berated by the other firefighters for his introduction of such girlishness into their manly space. My dad's comment: I thought it was orange), I typically have little to no input on the color of my hair at any given time. I may make bold statements such as "I want to go red" or "I think I want a little darker brown", but in the end, it is up to my sister and mother to decide what will look best on my head and/or when my hair "looks like crap" and needs to be "fixed" immediately. Last night was one of these nights.
Deciding on a chocolatey brown (how can you ever go wrong with chocolate, I thought. BOY WAS I WRONG), we set about our business. When all was said and done, not only did I end up looking like morticia/a middle school goth, but my sister had decided to also dye my naturally blonde eyebrows and I looked pretty much like groucho marx. The ensuing plucking (I am not a girl, and have never, until this point, had my eyebrows plucked) was enough to cause tremendous strings of obscenities flow from my mouth, and make me feel as if my eyes were bleeding.

All in all, it's been a trying week.

So all of you who didn't know, I'm moving to connecticut tomorrow (yes, tomorrow!) to get my apartment set up and start graduate school at the university of connecticut for speech language pathology. Sounds very exciting and all, but right now I'm just looking around at the cyclone that is my room and wondering "do I really need to bring this floppy hat, this pillow with cats on it, this lump of green silly putty?" and the glamour of picking up and moving to a new state/new life is pretty much lost.

I've had an amazzzzing summer though. For one, I went to europe and backpacked around a bit, which was overall a really awesome experience. If you're bored and feel like reading some blog entries about it, my friends and I kept up a travel blog at Since then I've been visiting people every weekend, working with special ed. kids (an eternally crazy experience where I'm alternately bitten, asked where babies come from, forced to chase kids trying to run into rivers to "be with the beavers", and informed that my butt "moves back and forth" when I walk by young developmentally disabled children every day), and having a ton of sweet adventures with those capital region kids, Fiona Murray, Harrison Watkins and Matt Lapennas! I was also lucky enough to catch Taryn, Em, and Sara on their visit to camp murray, and to meet Bill the 8 lb bunny not once but TWICE. Let me tell you, that rabbit is impressive.

Despite my horror at beginning the whole grad school thing, I'm kind of excited to go on to the next step. Everyone keep blogging and I'll try and keep up with this thing as well now that I've started! Love you and peace out, cub scouts


Tuesday, August 14, 2007



so far, it has been awesome and not anything at all like the Drew Carey show. stay tuned for a real update sometime in the next few days.


and this is how net neutrality works.

p.s. did you know that wikipedia has 83 articles written in klingon? chyeah!

random act of kindness!

today at work [price chopper] whilst checking out a customer, i realized that i needed to acquire an ironing board. i asked my supervisor if price chopper sold any and she went to check for me. she came back carrying one covered in pretty flowers that was bigger than her and said it cost $16.99. seeing as i am broke i thanked her and said i would get it on thursday when i got paid. she told me she'd keep it in the office for me.
ten minutes later i saw her in one of the nearby lines getting a receipt for the board! she had bought it for me! "an early graduation present!", she said.
i thought it was super nice. things like that don't happen every day. =)

all my love.
<3 fiones

Friday, August 10, 2007

bill murray loves the mets!


it's august 10th! i can't believe it.
i have had such a lovely summer, it's sad to see it go, but good because i know this new year will bring exciting and wonderful things to everyone! =)

yesterday, my dad took my sisters and me to see the mets. they played the braves. the braves won- but for anyone who watched/read about the game, it was not without its share of excitement! carlos delgado almost hit a home run in the ninth inning, but the braves' willie harris made a SICK save, and thus stole away the would-be tie, sealing the series win for the braves. bill murray was bummed. we were all sweaty. it was great.

this past tuesday i had the chance to speak at the city council in my hometown. i, along with two other women, spoke about the latino advocacy program that i volunteer for. the woman who started the program two years ago has since handed over the reins to her daughter, who spoke about the program's plans for the future, and hopes for funding/grants. i basically just gave an overview of my experience and a call for action. it went really well, and it felt good to let others, others who can help make a big difference, know. helping out with this program has been so wonderful, and i hope more people become aware about the great things the program wants to accomplish- and want to help! i've recently been thinking a lot about teaching as a career. every time i leave the esl class, i am filled with so much frustration, but also joy at the same time. frustrated that there's not more i can do and how can i get others involved, but also happy that i have been able to spend some time with people whom i would otherwise have very little interaction with. it's not so much the feeling of helping others, because i really don't know how much of that i'm doing, but actually being able to catch a glimpse of people's day-to-day lives, because that's what i enjoy most in life, as you all know. i feel like being a good teacher isn't necessarily about imparting all your knowledge onto your students, but maybe more of the ability to engage and connect. i don't know... i've just never really had this feeling that i've been trying to convey before, and i think that's a sign- at least that this is something i should continue to think about. we'll see!

in other news, i've been trying to keep up on what's been going on locally/politically in geneseo, and will mostly likely be sending out emails soon. i'm too scared to write names on the blog, since i've had trouble with that in the past... just know that this upcoming fall will definitely be interesting!

i think i might see "the sound of music" tomorrow night! yay! they're performing it in ballston spa.

i saw "the simpsons movie" the other night with my sister. i thought it was super funny! laughed it up!

i'm down to my last few weeks at the chopper. my family and i are going out to long island/fire island next week to visit family.

sara and greg are in iowa! and harrison's leaving for cleveland on monday!

i hope you all are enjoying your augusts. i miss you so.
all my love, and more. <3

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

ireland =)

i came home a week ago from a ten day whirlwind trip to ireland with my brothers and my cousin patrick. thought i would share a couple pictures and some brief and completely snark-free commentary!

the strapping young lads i travelled with! left-right, pat, tim, ed.

this is me at the cliffs of moher, on the first day, strikingly irish looking, if i do say so myself!

this is my great aunt kathleen, my grandmother's youngest sister, standing in front of the field she and my grandmother and their eight other siblings would cross to get to school everyday, in a small country town in co. galway. this lady looks and talks exactly like my grandmother and meeting her felt familiar in the nicest way.

this is in galway city-- my cousin margaret in front and her husband ollie behind her. note ollie's teeth. this is a man who, the following night, lost hist two false front teeth in the pub, found them on the ground a floor below us, threw them into a cup of cider, and popped those bad boys right back in.

these are my cousins from dublin... really nice bunch.

this is in kilmainham gaol in dublin, which aside from being where In the Name of the Father was shot, was where many Irish nationalists were held and executed during the revolution and civil war. The inscription, written by once prisoners, reads "BEWARE OF THE RISEN PEOPLE --THAT HAVE HARRIED AND HELD, YE THAT HAVE BULLIED AND BRIBED."

This one's for the DDL fanclub.

Bedtime! Work in the morn.



Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sweating Bullets and Failing Tests

Hello Everybody,

It has been hot hot hot here and I have been feeling muy caliente (and not in a good way). Some highlights of my life overt he past few weeks have definitely been hanging out with Emily, Harrison, Kristine, Sara, Taryn, and Fiona one weekend and then being with Harrison, Fiona, and Kristine a couple more times. Yay for being in the capital district vicinity. I also feel compelled to expand on fiona's comment that a bird pooped on her at lake george. After the aforementioned avian bombardment, Fiona was convinced that it was me dropping sunscreen on here out in the lake (??), so she started rubbing the excrement onto her arm like a goof. I think that I thought this was way funnier than anyone else did, but maybe someone reading this will share five year old, bathroom sense of humor.

I also read the new Harry Potter book and that shit was poppin'!! I guess that I mainly have been working a lot. I usually feel pretty burned out at the end of the day, so I don't do anything besides make myself dinner and watch a movie, read, or make a phone call or two. On the weekends I have been playing soccer every sunday afternoon with a bunch of people at the local Waldorf school. There is an 85 year old poet and ex-Congressional candidate during the Vietnam War. Apparently, in this district at that time both the Dems and Republicans were pro-Vietnam, so he ran as a third party member and just gave them both a lot of shit for being pro-war. Then there are also little kids who play with us, so there is quite an age range. It is always really fun and the last couple weeks we have gone swimming afterwards and then we eat some ice cream. Good, wholesome, all-american summer fun.

I also failed my road test on Thursday. It was a pretty spectacular failure. I messed up the parallel parking by hitting the curb and it was all downhill from there. Once I hit the curb my heart jsut starting racing I turned into an idiot. I guess that I should have been more prepared because I only have driven about 5 times this whole summer. After I messed up the parallel parking, the examiner asked me how many times I had practiced parking and I honestly repeild that I had practiced twice. I don't think that she was impressed.... Later in the test I couldn't really see at an intersection because there was a car parked on the corner, so I just kind of pulled out a little too far and a car had to brakea little. That was the end of the test, so I didn't even finish it. The examiner jsut told me "That was bad" when I had my second mistake. Oh well, I have made it to the age of 22 without a liscense, so one more month will not hurt me. SO Colleen we still have non-driver solidarity for a little while. I have to go water some plants because we need some rain pretty badly. ttfn.

love, Matt

Friday, August 3, 2007


this is somewhat behind the times, but me and two buddies of mine (Craig and Rocco) elected to undergo a two day adventure in that urban, french-canadian oaisis known as montreal. rocco, king of travel research, found an insane rate on a downtown hotel avec a hottub and pool.

we started off the adventure by making signs out of our mapquest directions which said, "YOU LOSE" & "call us @ 1-800-HOT-BUTT ;-)". these were flashed at many, many motorists, all of whom we understood to love hot butts if they paid any attention to us in the slightest.

we burst through the country barrier blasting avril lavigne's "girlfriend", a theme throughout the trip (sample lyric: " HEY HEY YOU YOU, I DON'T LIKE YOU GIRLFRIEND/ NO WAY NO WAY, THINK YOU NEED A NEW ONE") and made it to our hotel where we promptly watched some quebecian t.v. (canada is the best country, ever). we then talked to the concierge, got directions to old montreal, walked there and ate at 'chez eric's' and wandered through montreal's chinatown .

that night, post an early evening lark in the pool/hottub, we made our way to a bar call "brutopia" where an awful parody of tenecious d was playing. we quickly decided the only option we had was to go to the casino de montreal. our cab ride there was short and painless and we stepped foot in the door where i was immediately blinded by all the glittering, glittering lights.

not sharing rocco's affection for such places craig and i decided we each had 10 loonies (loony=dollar) to sink before we had to leave. and then, the highlight of the trip: I BEAT THE HOUSE BY 50 CENTS, TAKE THAT CANADA! we returned triumphantly to the hotel.

the next day we went to the biodome, saw some monkeys and were lectured on the arts of seduction in the animal kingdom. we returned home to the soundtrack of the lil jon, fat joe hit "i make it rain." it was a good trip.

in other news, i depart for cleveland on the 13th. i'm having a going away thang that sunday, so, if anyone can come, i fully encourage it.

also, fiones and i went to see matt this past sunday and we went swimming and ate ice cream. it was glorious. KEEP THE UPDATES COMING

the next day we went out for break

Thursday, August 2, 2007

we had a show last night in oswego, and played in a small garage with about 30 kids standing around us.
we were all sweating tons but its probably the most fun ive had at a show. i
finally feel like we are all a part of this band equally. i just wish summer wasn't so close to ending so we could play more in places like this, where everyone just wants to be exactly where they are.

my iowa cousins are coming up and we might all go to new york city together.
so in other words, i might just have to quit my job at the K.

my mother made banana bread this morning, so i should go see how that's coming along.

dancing at the bugjar tonight (wish you all were here)


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Postedy Post Post

FEEYONA!! this blog is beautiful! this (i am ashamed to say) is my first trip to the truestatements blog, and I am so impressed! i love the dots!

i saw ratatouille TWICE in theatres already and i highly recommend it - definitely worth the eight or nine bucks. today i drove to my dad's and spent the day on the lake, soakin up rays and makin some vitamin D. i'm listenting to John Mayer's Continuum, which is refreshingly and surprisingly good. Bluesy, charming. in other news, i got a second job as a "back server" (a euphemism for water girl/busser) at a classier restaurant outside of Rochester. they KNOW i'm leaving in september, but they were like, "we want to keep the staff fresh." i guess that means i'm fresh... so fresh and so clean, clean.

i hope everyone is healthy and enjoying the amazing weather :) mucho amor to all!

Friday, July 27, 2007

fiones loves to blog! it's true.

i hope everyone is doing well! i hope to hear from more people on this, but it's totally ok if people aren't enjoying it...

today, i cut off most of my hair, after being inspired by short-haired teets & gordon. i may need some evening out by a friend, since i cut it pretty short, and can't really see how it looks in the back...

sara is off to iowa on sunday! to work for the john edwards ['08] campaign! woo! harrison, kristine and myself drove out to hudson, ny to meet up with sara and matt last night for some dinner and catch-up chats. it was nice. we saw bill the eight pound bunny again! =)

it is officially track season in saratoga. people are everywhere! especially price chopper supermarket[s]! love it!

i have been corresponding via email with colin w., who is living in geneseo for the summer. we have a bunch of ideas of stuff we want to do next semester/year. it's nice to think about. =)

i know i still have a month left of my summer, but it is crazy to think it's going to be august soon- i have had such a lovely time so far, i feel very lucky.

i am super sleepy. goodnight. i miss you all so much.
all my love. <3