The Evolving Old Towne

Two years ago, I moved back to the town in which I grew up. I hadn’t really explored it for the five years I was gone, so there were many surprises as to what had changed in my absence. Store fronts had come and gone and new houses now stood where small patches of forests had been growing.

Last year, I took my kids to the Memorial Day and July 4th parades the town has had long since I could remember. It was nice to see people lining the street and waving to our local heroes and dancing to the music of marching bands. I was pleased in this case to see that Enfield still values community where it matters the most.

This year was the 25th anniversary celebrating the 4th on our town green. What started as a tiny ‘Taste of Enfield’ with a few local food booths followed by 10 minutes of cheesy fireworks, had grown into something I barely recognized. When I was a kid, relatively unknown cover bands would cram into the little gazebo throughout the weekend, while children ran around the green and danced to the beat.

This year, it was the Los Lonely Boys and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra playing. David Foster and the Mohegan Sun Band were also there on a large constructed stage usually seen at  music festivals.

There were so many people there this year that it was a vast sea of chairs and blankets no matter where you directed your eyes. Don’t get me wrong, there was pretty good attendance when I was a kid, but this was beyond anything I had experienced in the past.

As the girls and I barely managed to walk past the stage, a good portion surrounding the platform was barricaded, only allowing the corporate sponsors a seat in that pristine area. Corporate sponsors.

I’m sure the town had gained small business support in years past, but this was different. While I could understand the need to seek bigger donations, it unnerved me that with securing that money, Enfield ultimately bowed down and licked the feet of the local privileged.

We celebrated the 4th each year on the town green as one community. Children danced on stage to classic rock and blues tunes. You had room to walk and when you did, you ran into someone you knew almost all the time.

Perhaps I’ve been gone too long, but there wasn’t one person I recognized from my past, but then again there were so many people, they could have passed me by and I would have never seen them.

Despite the crowd, it had to be the coldest mid July celebration we’ve ever had. Usually heat lightning streaks through the night sky, but the girls and I were huddled on our little patch of grass under a fleece blanket waiting for the fireworks.

The display, which was one of the only highlights of the night was incredible. There was one summer back in the 80’s where only two fireworks had gone off and some problem prohibited the rest of the show. This year, color exploded in the sky for a good part of 25 minutes. What I thought was a finale was followed by a smaller finale, then followed by the biggest show of light I’ve ever seen at a local show. It was almost like with each ear splitting boom, the volume of the crowd surged as well, the excitement growing in the air until the climax. I don’t think I’ve ever been that moved at a fireworks display before.

In that one moment as everyone, (privileged and not) stared up that sky in wonder, I was instantly transported back in time and remembered what it felt like to celebrate the birth of our country, and belong to a great community. Growing pains and all.

Because I Can Never Seem To Make Up My Mind…

Here is a new theme!

I liked the “Open Air” theme by Woo Themes, but it just felt too impersonal. I tried my hand at enhancing the design to add a little more Kate into the mix, but everything I did broke something else. Frustrating.

I particularly like this theme for a number of reasons.

1.) The header graphic. It’s insanely cute. It tells a story. It’s somewhat tailored to who I am. Not only is the animation stunning, but you can interpret it a number of ways. It could be that I am the little girl in the middle with her eyes closed, dreaming of conquests, monsters and giraffes. It’s got a fantasy/sci-fi feel to it. Or perhaps, I’m showing that playing games with my friends is the best feeling in the world. Because really, the action depicted in the scene can be anything from D20 RP to RPG and strategy video games. It’s totally me. The only thing this picture is missing is the red dragon of desire doom.

2.) Neon – Who doesn’t like neon colors? (Okay, maybe you don’t, but I do, so nyeh.)

3.) It’s clean. The font is perfect, the sidebar is perfect (with the exeption of popular posts– which I’m working on).

4.) It’s fun. The whole theme just says “play with me”  and I feel that it reflects the type of person I am or aspire to be on most days.

Let me know what you think!

Geekery: My New Grue Watch (It has Eaten Me)

Recently purchased on Etsy.com (I got the last one, neener), this lovely little piece of geekery arrived today. 

Packaged in a yellow envelope, I was pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of yummy butterscotch candy packed in with the watch. 

I love when people go the little extra distance to show they care about you as a patron/person.  It’s been too long since I’ve had that warm and fuzzy feeling in the bottom of my belly.

So fellow geeks out there who know exactly what this means, be jealous that I’m being eaten by a grue. Be very jealous!

IMG_1795

Here’s a musical interlude to help you out.

 

 

 

 


New Instrumental – Tobias’ Theme

While I used this in yet another podcast done for Lee Stephen, I originally wrote this piece for Tobias Cressen, the villain in Peter Hodges’ forthcoming novel entitled “The Alchemist”. It never saw light of day as Pete has been trying to fine tune the work for podcasting, but I thought I could use it when I read from Lee’s upcoming published novel, “Hero”. I went for mysterious, crazy strings and harp which left me with a “What will he do next?” feeling.

“Reflection”

Happy Disturbation

I put this together over the last few days. I have to figure out why it sounds so good on GarageBand and sounds so muddied on a PC. I’m wondering if it’s just at that precipice of volume and crystallized threshold.

Not my best work by far, but it makes me chair dance.

Let me know if you like it or hate it. 😉

“HD”

Twitter Has Killed My Blogging

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received in my life involved the dissemination of information. That which can be said in 15 minutes or less is usually the most effective. On a smaller scale of things, Twitter has basically killed any attempt at blogging for me the last few months. Why write out a lengthly post on how you debated having bacon with breakfast this morning, or have had internal discussions on whether or not to shower every day since starting to work from home? With Twitter, 140 characters can usually exclaim to your loyal followers that you have an ingrown toenail and that your daughter has vomited for the fourth time in one day.

Granted, with Twitter I often find myself deleting character overage, which forces me to be creative in some of my updates. There have been some times where I’ve started to sound like those mobile phone commercials.

OMG, hi 2 u! My BFF sez hi, 2!

I do realize that while I may just over 40 followers since I’ve last checked, that I’m not reaching the amount of people that stop by my blog on a daily basis looking for refreshing and mind blowing content. The sheer awesomeness of my writing ability is a major draw and I know with Twitter’s ease of use and brevity, some may disagree that like makeup on a teenage girl, less is more.

Regardless, I will try to continue my blogging. I do have to admit however, that with everything going on in my personal/professional life, writing a full length blog post is akin to having no spoons in the silverware drawer when all you wanted was a cup of instant chocolate pudding. Do you take the effort and search through the pile of dirty dishes only to reclaim and wash the utensil therefore negating any sort of brevity which initially drove your actions or do you just open the lid of the pudding and start licking it out like a cat with a tongue disorder?

Wait, we were talking about Twitter right? I have no idea where the pudding analogy came in. Forgive me. See, had I twittered this whole blog post, it would have simply been:

Blogging sucks these days, Twitter is the shizzawesome!!!!111!!I haz pudding.

Stealing A Book Meme

Books – A Meme

Stolen from various members of the UCF. 

What was the last book you bought?
Backup by Jim Butcher (Haha! I got a LE 1st Print HC – Neeneer)

Name a book you have read MORE than once
I don’t read books more than once. It’s a pet peeve actually. I can usually remember the gist of the story if it’s a book I like and there are just so many out there that I need to read, that I can’t go giving books special treatment!

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

Changed the way I see life? I wouldn’t go that far. Given me another perspective on the way things are, could be, were? Sure. Forever War by Joe Haldeman and Citizen of the Galaxy by Heinlein are right up there in making me hope for a better future than the one they provide in their stories.

How do you choose a book?
(E.g. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews?)
If I don’t have reader recommendations from friends, and I’m just browsing in the book store, then cover actually plays a rather large part in my selection. I hate to say it, but had I never heard the rave reviews concerning Patrick Rothfuss‘, The Name of the Wind, I would never have picked up the first version of the HC. It looked pretty cheesy. I ended up picking it up though and it’s now a collectable. Go figure. 

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I think I may own like four non-fiction books. I suck like that. My fiction collection is outrageous. 

What’s more important in a novel, beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

Both. A gripping plot will not forgive crappy craft but beautiful writing doesn’t matter if I don’t give a shit about the characters. (I’m gonna steal Janiece’s answer)

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Auri (Name of the Wind), Kvothe (Name of the Wind), Aragorn (The Lord of the Rings), Harry Dresden (The Dresden Files), Lasciel (The Dresden Files), John Perry (Old Man’s War Trilogy), Tobias Cressen (The Alchemist), Ned Stark (A Game of Thrones)… Ahhh. I can’t possibly name them all. 

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, Agent to the Stars by John “No Comment” Scalzi, Sly Mongoose by Tobias Buckell

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
A Decade of Whatever (Honestly, I skipped all the entries that were done since I started reading the blog back in early 2007), but it was nice to go back and see the stuff I had missed. Good mix of humor, politics and catassery on the part of John Scalzi.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
I really try not to, but I had to throw out my first book just about a year ago. The Story of O was just awful. I was hoping for a nice erotic fantasy read, but got rather sick to my stomach.