Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Wedding West Texas Style

Speaking of weddings, Connie and I just got back from El Paso where a friend of hers had the perfect West Texas Wedding.  

First of all it was big, 430 guest in attendance.  Second, you had one choice of dinner, STEAK!  And third, there was some two stepping and line dancing.   Here are some pictures of Connie's big hair, the church and the rehearsal to commemorate the really long Catholic ceremony.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Darryl and Carol

This is the first posting by Darryl, blogging virgin and recovering Luddite. I am pleased the first posting announces that the lovely Carol has agreed to marry me. We have confirmed that we have the church and fellowship hall for August 9, 2008, in Houston. You who might be in line for an invitation may now pencil that on your calendar (or align the electrons appropriately in your more modern device) and plan to celebrate with us.
We understand that it will be August in Houston, but we are optimistic that all of the air conditioning will work and that the hurricanes will hold off till September. Carol is a public school teacher, and we are anxious to pass this point before school begins again.
We became engaged at a lovely dinner on the evening of April 25th. The restaurant manager served us champagne as the lounge musician played "Summertime" while we danced. The next morning we purchased beautiful engagement/wedding rings. I shall post a picture later when I figure all that out.
Because we love going to the Dickens on the Strand festival in Galveston, we want to do a Victorian wedding. Carol and I, plus our attendants (her two daughters and my son and daughter), will wear some apparel that at least mimics the era. We are not asking anyone else to go to that extreme--remember it will be August in Houston.
We are finding that the Internet is an amazing tool for helping to plan almost anything these days. We welcome links to any great sites that you think might help us. Since we are merging two long-standing households, we will be looking to get rid of a lot of stuff. But if we find some deficiencies (and Carol always finds plenty of deficiencies when she tries to use my kitchen), we may come up with some kind of wedding registry. We may ask for charitable donations instead as we feel so blessed already. Thanks for allowing me to invade your computer. Stay tuned.
Love to all, Darryl

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Passover at the Marshall's

Was much more low key. We made some brisket, had some people over, drank some Mani, watched the Smurfs (seriously).

But the cat was reclining the entire time-
he was much more into it and disappointed he never found the afikomen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Proud New Home Owner

That's right, last Monday I placed an offer on a house in South Philadelphia and it was accepted. Very soon I will be the proud owner of 1145 Mercy Street, Philadelphia PA 19148 (see a map)
I got what I feel was a really good deal and offered asking price with a 6% seller's assist (hopefully my closing costs will be very low). It's a 2 bedroom, one bath row house with about 920 sq. ft. It has been updated with a new kitchen, new bathroom, laminate floors, new drywall, recessed lighting, and ceiling fans in every room. I have a cute little back yard that is very private with a lot of potential and a faux fireplace in the master bedroom. If I get a mortgage and have a good inspection I should be closing on June 13th, just in time for a 4th of July crab feast.
Check out pictures here.

Juror #5 is my new rap name.

Well I served my civic duty. That coupled with voting in the Democratic primaries this morning has me feeling like a super patriot. I was assigned to a homicide and possession of criminal weapon case. after a 2 day voire dire, a 2 day trial, and 2 day deliberation we found the defendant guilty of 1st degree murder. It was a strenuous and trying week (and weekend) for me. I was convinced when I heard that the bullet route through the victims chest was a contact wound (meaning the gun was pressed to his chest). Eleven jurors had decided it was 1st degree within the first hour of deliberation. Juror #12 was a little harder to convince (most morally stubborn and irrational person I've ever had to meet in my life). I'm just happy it's all over with. It took me about a good 3 hours and a gigantic margarita to start to calm down and forget about it. Well now I have a good story to always tell, a much deeper appreciation of the U.S. legal system, a new found respect for the appreciation of life, and planted seed to do my best to help keep Philadelphia safe through phat beetz and jamz promoting peace. Call me Juror #5.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

An easy WALK to victory- for the other team.

We are a little confused as to the final score, but according to Connie it was 17-9.  But we were really in it until the last two innings.  We went into the field 8-7 them and they took advantage of our weak pitching.  (Our pitchers have been hurt or unable to attend)  The whole inning they just stood there and took the inaccurate pitches and managed to fill the bases.   If you walk a guy before a girl gets up to bat - they get two bases- that rule alone allowed them to score two runs.  So we were super frustrated by the end of the game- cuz our fielding has improved.   If they would actually hit the ball we would eventually get some outs.   I'm am sorry to report another loss, but no game next weekend.  Let's hope the week off helps bring back our pitchers. (the photo above is a dramatization and not the actual events described)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tough Cookies remain undefeated!

The Doll Factory

Saturday night, 8 PM. The Tough Cookies need one win to clinch a spot in the championships in November. The Fight Crew is one loss away from being eliminated from the championships for the first time.

Since I am too lazy to recap, and have a much better written one to link to, I will summarize thusly:

Number of Fight Crew Members Ejected: 2
Number of Tough Cookies knocked off the track: 1
(Confirmed) Celebrities in attendance: Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page
Final Score: Tough Cookies: 59 Fight Crew: 49

Drew and Ellen take in the action

Chasing down Crystal Deth

If you want the details of the night, you can go to our most excellent re-capper, DF, who writes for losanjealous

The Tough Cookies next bout is May 31st, against the Sirens, (who we have already defeated once this year). I'm stoked to have been asked to sub on the All-Star Team, the LA Ri-ettes, for our game against San Diego on May 3rd. Both teams are going down!

How cool is this? What a Ride?

Don't watch too close. You may see me about to fall off.

A whole lot of shaken goin' on

I was just reaching for the door to leave for work this morning. Yes, I leave at 4:35 am. I first thought it was a very low flying jet from Scott Air Force base since there was a lot of noise. Then I thought it may be a thunderstorm and sudden burst of rain as I heard the trees and stuff hitting the roof. After turning on the outside light to see no rain and hearing things shaking in the kitchen, I finally guessed earthquake. Hummer yelled from the bedroom, then the dog ran up from the basement. It was over in about half a minute. I remember some similar shakes as a small kid rattling the big farmhouse windows. Then at work around 10:15, I felt an aftershock. Kinda of like a huge wind gust hitting the building. Early morning was 5.2 and the latter aftershock was 4.2. I have not found anything damaged at home but have not looked that well. Everyone very excited at work. Most had never experienced an earthquake.

A little shake up

Happy Friday to my Illinois livin' folk!  Did you guys feel the quake?  Any damages?  Looked like fun on the news, but they are always showing the most dramatic photos.  And everyone's always worried about us out in Los Angeles.  I'm sure ours is to come, but I haven't felt anything in the 5.0 range yet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hi guys,

The show we just went to had a fashion show at lunch time. It was small and not very fancy, but I got to show off some of my stuff. Here's a picture of the model (a friend of mine) wearing the jacket I made for the Las Vegas show. She looks really cute here.

More bloggers to come!

I would like to give a big Mishpachamania welcome, to the filmprof and the Berryville Brat for joining this little get together.  We hope this encourages other Freeds, Schaefers, Browns, Kreitzers, etc. to post as well.  Let me know if there are others you would like me to invite. 

My Civic Duty

Well I served my first jury duty summon today. As you can all imagine Philadelphia is a huge dysfunctional city so the whole process was rather frustrating. After a 6 hour voir dire I was selected answered only about 5 questions in total. Tomorrow I show up for what is supposed to be a four day trial. If your wandering what the case is all I'll hint at is it's criminal and Philadelphia has one of the highest murder rates in the country.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Pesach!

Yes, Passover is not until next week, but we will be out of town so we decided to celebrate early. Thanks to Beth and Jessica's personally created (and illustrated - which you can hardly tell through the many times copied) haggadah, we can share the holiday with our friends. We did this a couple years ago and had a great time, so we decided to try it again with some new sets of friends.

We had a great evening. Kyler, as always, is great in the teacher role and he lead the evening in front of a very interested audience - even remembering most of the tunes to the songs. I was the only person who had experienced a Jewish Passover dinner, but we got our crew to try all the food (with some even liking gefiltie fish), sing the songs and drink a lot of wine.

We had 16 people at dinner, which yes, is a large dinner party. We brought in a folding table and chairs for backup and thanks to a combination of wedding gifts, everyone was able to eat off of and with real dishes. Yet we still have a ton of left over potatoes and brisket. And dishes to wash---nope, still haven't done that yet. Since Kyler cleaned, cooked and prepared all day (I was helping host a baby shower for my officemate), I shall be washing 16 wine glasses among other things tonight. This will be my exciting night while Kyler is gone to Idaho to get a couple horses bred.

On a closing note, Kyler and I went to the opera Sunday afternoon. (It was a glorious day and we should have just been lounging outside, but we had to get our culture in!) We saw the Gilbert and Sullivan 'comedic opera', The Mikado. I meant to take a picture in front of the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, which looks like a gold golf ball buried in the ground, but forgot - so this is the Truckee River that runs through downtown.

Signs of Spring

Yes, I was one of those horse crazy girls. When I was in 5th grade I actually got my own horse, Cinnamon Cindy. While for many reasons it was good that my parents did not have any desire to do so, almost as soon as I got my horse I wanted to breed her and have baby horses. Ah - young girl's dreams.

But this year I am getting to experience a little bit of those past dreamings. Saturday morning (April 12) we (as in the 'ranch') had our second foal. The first, which we have dubbed MacGregor was born the day before St. Paddy's and he is already a rambunctious little s***. I'll have to get some pictures up of him. The new addition is a filly who Kyler has already decided is going to be quite sweet. She doesn't seem to be bothered by anything and is already sniffing the dog and trotting around. This is her a few hours after she was born. (She is already much cuter.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Our First Reserve Champion!

Rodney and I just returned from the IAOBA show in Peoria Illinois. We had a great time there and was thrilled to have received a Reserve Champion on Snowy River! She was 2nd out of 13 and we were just amazed that we won over the competition. It was a great show!


Well, Jessica may have lost miserably this weekend, but the Tough Cookies pulled through with a win tonight - 59-49 (or something like that!). It was a high scoring game, and the Fight Crew gave us a much harder fight than we thought we would have (as Jessica put it at halftime, "Maybe you shouldn't have been so cocky...."). Either way we won! Details with pictures to come! Tough Cookies: Undefeated in '08!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

We are 1-2, in case you were taking bets...

Pigs lose again.  But not as bad.  I even scored one of our runs.  We lost today 15-2, which means Connie better win big tonight at the roller derby game.  We can't all be losers. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Walls of Wheels

So we've been trying to redecorate our home office for a while now and I think we are finished.  The room was basically a place we went to dump everything and I wanted to use it as my workspace.  Yet, every time I would try to work in there I would get upset at what disorganized mess it was.  Connie requested we give it a roller derby theme since she really liked the art she had been collecting from the bouts.  So I agreed as long as we could do something interesting with one wall.  As you see over my desk we have a giant poster that shows off the logos of 100 Roller Derby leagues all over the country.  Connie purchased some crazy skateboards decks with Britney Spears' face on it.  Which if you know Connie was a buy she could not pass up.  We also framed a couple of her derby flyers.  And on the other wall I took a photo of Connie jumping over somebody during a game and simplified it and had it printed to canvas.  I thought it would be cool if we could create a pattern on it we could continue on to the wall.  She was very skeptical during the process but I think we are both happy with the result. Check it out.  And yes, parents,  that is the new couch you will now get to sleep on when you come to town. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Andrew in NY????

is this true??Boyslender needs to know!!I'm so confused...Little Spence at 18months with his favorite monkey..
Hi All...How's everyone doing...enclosed is a link to the show I am doing.
Check it out...


Hi mom-
I was only joking about the crystal meth.

What am I in for?

Andrew is in a 5 week gig, playing in a show called 'Caroline or Change'. So, his only nights off for the next month are Mondays. He says it is a good show, and won something on Broadway, but I have no idea what that means. I've just agreed to go see it this week. Does anyone know anything about this? Should I bring a book? My iPod? Crystal meth? Any advice is welcome. And to thank you, I'll now post two cute photos. Same couch. Same dog. Different haircuts.

Why I Love Google Maps Street View

I cannot believe I didn't find this sooner. Google maps street view is pretty much the coolest thing ever. Google sent a car out with 8 or 10 cameras, that snapped millions of pictures of almost every street in Philadelphia (and lots of other cities but this is the only one I check out). The result is you are about to walk through a composite of billions of pictures of the city and look around in almost 3 dimensions.

The other big news that is part of this post is that I will be buying a house this spring in South Philly. I have been pre-approved and have started to spend the majority of my weekends snapping pictures of granny fixer uppers and researching comps. I will certainly be posting more about this in the near future. What is great about google maps is I can see the house and tour the street before riding my bike to go visit it. It is really an amazing tool.

Here is how to see where I currently live on google maps.
1) Go to
2) Type in 1204 South Street Philadelphia - you should get a tiny little picture of a corner with a pizza shop
3) Now in the upper right hand window click on street view (all the street should turn to blue highlights)
4) Move the little orange man to the green arrow, a window with a photo of the street should pop up
5) Glick and drag the photo in the screen to view 360 degrees. Get comfortable with turning and walking
6) When you notice the Gennaro's pizza shop on the corner then you are looking at my street. You should see a white 3 story building with 2 windows on the ground floor and 4 windows on 2nd and 3rd floors. This is my building. I live on the 3rd floor.
7) Take note of how amazing it must be to live between a pizza shop and a convenient store.
8) Go to the left and head down South Street to see what Philly is all about.

High Two

For the past year I have been helping out with a local independent record label called High Two. I help out with things like press releases, web design, finding new bands, etc. It's all pro-bono but I learn a lot and am able to help out my friends a lot. My band Whales and Cops will hopefully be releasing our 5 song EP in August. Check out the music we're putting out and buy something if you like it. We need the money.
High Two website
High Two on Myspace

Whales and Cops

Last summer I joined a band called Whales and Cops. The band started with 2 guys formally of a rather successful Philly band called Man Man. I joined in with a music school friend of mine and we started playing some shows. Realizing we were going to loose her to grad school we started working on a recording around October. We are now almost finished the 5 song EP and it is going to rock. I will be sure to send you all a copy when it is complete (will release in August hopefully). I am very proud of it and it will be the first real recording (after ten years of being a quasi professional musician) that I have an actual recording. Most everyone will find it very strange and have no clue what's going on (just like our music video below) but that what makes us so proud of it. We have a new member and will hopefully start touring in the fall. Keep an eye and ear out for Whales and Cops.

I've been blogging it up!

Well I guess my first post will be to let you all know that I've been blogging it up for a while. Last summer I started freelance writing for a blog called uwishunu (you wish you knew). It is a blog sponsored through the tourism board that is supposed to be about what insiders know and do in Philadelphia. I've contributed about 35 posts now on things I know (jazz and beer) to things I'm new to (modern dance and cheese). Check out my articles and book yourself a trip to Philly.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pigs Fall to Lower Altitude

Every Saturday morning, my softball team comprised of a rag tag group of storyboard artists and production crew head to the field hoping not to embarrass themselves too horribly.  

This year we took the name "When Pigs Fly" thinking that is probably when we would win. 

Along with the new name we also changed our management.  The torch went to this guy.

Jason brings something to the table that our last two coaches could not supply, more testosterone.  Look how relaxed he is here.  At this moment we are already down by 20 runs.  (When I coached the first year I would've been throwing things by now- we never won a game).

Last year, we improved our record by winning one game. And we've already matched that amazing year by winning last weekend  17-8.  We were shocked and thrilled with such success on our first outing.   

But even a new coach and a better attitude could not prepare us for the Swingers  or as we call them Team Fancy Pants.  Why?  They all wear matching grey baseball pants. See for yourself.

Don't they know we don't take this seriously. It is just for fun. 

Let's compare the two third-base players from each team.
  That girl is a monster.  And she hit like one too. Reminds me of high school and why I sat on the bench - a lot.
  Even our manager doesn't take this whole softball thing that seriously.  She's too busy bringing the latest trends to the dugout.

So we were out matched.  We lost a pitiful 39-0.  Yes that was the score.  Why would I make that up?  We may find out as we get into the season that there are only two teams we could possibly beat.  And that is if everything goes well.  

I don't think that matters
to me and the pigs.  We are there for the little victories; like getting out of an inning with three outs rather than the mercy rule, getting a couple runs, and even making one double play.   We are there to watch everyone get a little better with each game. We want to enjoy the bonding that comes with the highs and lows of being on a  team. 
But most of all we are there for the after party at the bar. Burgers and Beer!  Come on, why else? 

spencer at beach 2

spencer at beach

hi all

just seeing if this works!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I have SO avoided this...

As a confirmed, admitted, self-described Luddite, I have avoided blogging in the same way I avoid large screen TVs, cars that seat seven in comfort, and any food that has the adjective 'convenient' as part of its name. After all, the road to hell is paved with the hubcaps of SUVs and eight track tape players. But, alas, I don't want to become a complete, live-under-a-bridge misanthrope, so if that is to be avoided, I need to start playing the game. So here I am.
Now, what the hell to say so that I will not appear anywhere near as boring as I feel? Oh, I know. I've been painting. For the last year or so, I've been putting brush to canvas, doing something that I had wanted to do for over 20 years. I realize that it isn't as glamorous as roller derby, and a video of me painting would be the cure for insomnia, but hey, I like it. I am going to be really bold and try to attach a pic of one of my paintings to this blog. If the entire world wide web suddenly ceases functioning today, you'll know I pressed the wrong button, and the Luddites have finally won...
In other news, a friend (quite possibly a soon-to-be-ex-friend) gave us a piano. Andrew had been teaching himself on a little electric keyboard that he got in a garage sale many years ago. Needless to say, the keyboard left much to be desired. Like a friggin'-baby-grand-piano. So, I got home from a stint at work to find this thing already settled into our home. Don't ask how he got it to fit. I have to say, it does sound much better than the keyboard. I just hope that he will stop playing it someday and do something else, like bathe or eat. Dexter the parrot has fallen in cautious love with the piano, sitting under it and staring at it with lust in his eyes. But enough about them, I'm going to try to attach a photo now...
Holy crap batman, it worked! It isn't where I expected it to be, but I'm not gonna complain. OK, gotta get the dog to the beach now.

A Brave New World (Stepping into the Blogosphere)

Hello family! It's Emily B (my new Blogger name).

Thanks to Jes for this great idea. Yet another thing for me to do at work besides work :). I will have to start taking pictures and figuring out how to upload video with the goal of letting everyone know what's going on in our lives out here in Reno.

The weekend has started (yay!) and hopefully I will get outside today and get some of my garden planted. Just have to finish that rabbit fence first. I just got finished with my first week-long residential Gaming Management program. I was in charge of all the organization and details for 15 students plus 4 instructors learning about Security and Risk in the world of casinos. We baby these classes, so it was kind of tiring to be 'on call' for 5 days, but I really enjoyed the experience and getting to know the students more than in our 1 or 2 day classes.

Kyler's outside right now moving dirt around in the little Bobcat. We just got 4 large trees planted at our house - quite expensive, but since we aren't paying for it, keep on planting! The pic is of Kyler roping with our neighbors. The horse, Miss Demeanor, is obviously not very happy with this event. I'll have to get a couple pictures of the bovines so you all can see them as well.

And just because I actually have a little video, I'll post it in keeping with Connie's multimedia contributions. Hope everyone is doing great!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fine, I'll go first...

Next weekend my roller derby team, the Tough Cookies, take on the Fight Crew for the fourth bout of the Los Angeles Derby Dolls 2008 season! The Tough Cookies are currently undefeated this year, and we look to extend our lead in the league and clinch a spot in the Championships in November with a win. Fight Crew is injury-depleted, relying on six sub-pool members to fill out their roster, but the Cookies just lost one of our best blockers to a broken collar-bone earlier in the week.

But we are confident! Our election themed campaign, "Cookies '08" has been paying off, and we expect to come out of this next "primary" with a win!

The bout is almost sold out - and we have been attracting bigger and bigger celebrities each time! In January it was Jeff Probst, then in February Drew Barrymore showed up (doing research for her upcoming movie on Derby), and in March she came back and brought Cameron Diaz with her. It got a mention in People!

So fingers crossed next Saturday that the Cookies can pull off a win!

Come on! You know you want to

Dear Family,
Come join the blog I'm dedicating to us.  This is a great place to share with all of us what's new - share pictures of new dogs, babies, cars, couches;  tell stories of crazy weekends; advertise upcoming events; report good health, show off sports injuries; share pictures of China, the World Series, an afternoon at the beach, your mom in front of a fountain, whatever you think is fun to post.   I never hear from anyone and I know I don't keep up with all of you as much as I would like, but I'm online everyday so let's try it.
Love you all