30 November 2009


There's a pretty architecturally stunning building that towers over the streets, just to the north of the Comcast Center. The shadows are somewhat harrowing.

13 November 2009


Please note: some names have been changed for the sake of anonymity.

It was time to say goodbye to Luze; one last hoorah before he'd finally acted on the fatal mistake of moving back in with an ex-fiance. I mean, who lives with her, breaks up with her, lives apart from her, and then finally decides to move back in with her? Let's just say that those relationships are unhealthy and essentially doomed to end in a mess of bitter misery. Needless to say, there's nothing like getting together to share stories, ideas, jokes and (let's not forget) plenty of drinks to kiss a good friend goodbye; now forever lost to the bad-decision abyss.

Rick was full of energy, Luze was full of laughter, and Stacey was full of curiousity. I just sat there, drunk, taking millions of photos to document our last celebration together as roommates.

14 September 2009


A visually appealing indoor houseplant, the ficus comes in many shapes and sizes. Somewhat easy to care for, their difficulty lies in the fact that they like to stay put once you place them in that one particular window inside your home. Any attempt to acclimate the ficus to a new environment will be met with (what seems to be) certain death to said beloved plant. One, in particular, has been with us for nine years and has traveled with us successfully and healthily through six houses. Currently, Fieky appears to be suffering from an unknown affliction, one we decidedly attribute to loneliness. Although it's constantly accompanied by a close friend of seven years (schefflera), I fear the lack of human interaction has left this ficus fig to suffer a grueling depression. Falling leaves and weeping branches. There is no lack of food. There is no lack of water. There is no lack of sunlight. There is only the newly-uncomfortable and indefinite lack of regular human presence. No more talk radio in the mornings. No more music in the evenings. I fear there may be no helping our long time companion, save for the hiring of a stand-in to act regularly as we had in years past.

[images courtesy the internet]

24 August 2009


On a recent trip to Kingston, Ontario we were exposed to a lot of the same general products we see in small town boutiques and antique stores around south eastern Pennsylvania. Gourmet food stores carrying $18 bottles of mustard and $24 boxes of rosemary flavored crackers; female clothing stores offering unknown designer dresses for $300 and contemporary costume jewelry pieces for upwards of 400% of their actual value; antique shops with broken chairs for $95, torn hand-woven welcome mats for $240, and frayed-wire lamps for $120; health food stores peddling fresh herbs & spices, exotically natural lotions and Himalayan salt lamps.

Himalayan salt lamps are generally found to be light orange to burnt ochre. Carved from natural salt crystal, they are generally suitable to fit atop small end tables or window sills and have been hollowed out to accommodate an incandescent bulb & its fixture. Popular for their effusive attractive glow, they are commonly used as nightlights and for those situations requiring "ambient mood lighting". There are known claims of the salt lamps' health-promoting properties (such as the ability to release ions that purify the air), but these postulations have not been substantiated and are, at present, recognized as 'pseudoscience'.

[photos courtesy the author & the internet]

18 August 2009


I came upon an e-nouncement for the University of Massachusettes today at work. It said, "UMass Amherst and Hancock Shaker Village announce the creation of a New Graduate Degree in Historic Preservation and Design" and I was immediately taken. Having never heard of Hancock in the past, I took it upon myself to do a little research and made the unanimous decision to (very soon) pay a visit to this cultural anomolie in western Mass. Here's what I discovered:

The Shaker Central Ministry closed the Hancock community in 1960 and sold the buildings and surrounding acreage to a group of Shaker enthusiasts, collectors and scholars. First open to the public on July 1, 1961, the village co-operative has restored the grounds & buildings and assembled & cared for their inherited premier Shaker collection. Hancock Shaker Village was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1968 and is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

[photos courtesy the internet]
More specifically, I noticed the unusual circular stone building - a barn built in 1826. Inside the barn there are four rings. The smallest, inner-most room provides ventilation - necessary to help draw the moisture out of the hay to prevent its overheating. The ring second to center is where the hay is stored; tossed in from an upper balcony. The next (third) ring is reserved for the Shaker brothers to be able to distribute the hay in the second ring to the cows standing in the outermost, fourth ring. The barn is constructed to hold up to 70 cows at a time - once in the morning and once in the evening to eat complacently while the Shaker brothers milk them.