Friday, May 23, 2008

Gettem' Mike! - Do it Right!

Canadian superstar contractor Mike Holmes has inspired me to take a weekend DIY Home Repair class through Temple University adult education classes. Well, actually the two aren't really related. I thought the class we be a good idea since I will soon be a new homeowner and I pretty much watch Holmes on Holmes everyday. Several episodes have actually made me cry, I thought his work was so beautiful. I hope a don't start to blur lines between the DIY I'm capable of and that of HGTV. When it comes times to install that ceiling fan I just want to get it up where Mike would gut the house, install skylights, spray foam the insulation, re-tile my bathroom, and offer to find the contractors who renovated my house and hunt them down like wild boar to emasculate them on their shitty craftsmanship. "Do It Right -The First Time" - Mike Holmes

Rickie Lee, How Much Do I Love Thee?

I've been a part-time house manager at the Painted Bride Art Center, one of Philadelphia's oldest and coolest performing and visual arts venues ever since I moved to Philadelphia. I've seen some pretty incredible shows including Zakir Hussain, 20 piece Gamelan orchestras from Indonesia, 40 piece Japanese Taiko drummers, some of the worlds best modern dancers and even lost $100 of Dave Holland's (famed bassist for Miles Davis) money. I've never been star struck before but when I found out Rickie Lee Jones was coming to do 3 concerts I got super psyched. I haven't been a fan for long but over the past couple of years I've acquired almost all of her albums and have recently gone on a buying spree of vinyl to get autographed. I think I will finally get a chance to be that super nerdy, I love you in my own secret way, because I listen to your records when I'm feeling lonely and sad and/or happy and on top of the world, and dream about what you're really like, and why you wrote this song, type of guy. I am totally going to get a picture and have her autograph like 10 records and put them all on my wall and myspace her the pictures.

Philadelphia Rainbow

Since I'm bored at work waiting for the long weekend I'm going to put up some vanity posts. Here is a cell phone pic of the very first rainbow I've ever seen in Philadelphia, caught it last night round 7:30 p.m. View from right outside my apartment down South Street.

Eleanor Graduates

Not sure why she hasn't posted her own blog yet but we had a great time at Eleanor's graduation 2 weekends ago from Syracuse U. She is at home now recovering from wrist surgery and preparing for the real world so send her your love, congratulations, and best wishes.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Saturday Night, little Jes and I threw a Indiana Jones movie marathon to prepare for the fourth film that opens this week. We had a bunch of friends over and muscled our way through all three movies. Party ended at about 2 AM. We went overboard decorating- the kitchen was the jungle with buried treasure chest, the living room had photos of Indy and the dining room was the map room. We had snakes scattered about, because Indy hates snakes. One of my friends had the crazy idea to put a heart in a jello mold and someone should have to pull it out like in Temple of Doom (a better idea on paper than in life). We also made some grails, the holy one- had a shot of water, the rest vodka. But the best way to get through all the movies is to make it a drinking game. So we made a bunch of jungle juice and used rules like every time the theme music played, or any time Indy lost his hat or punched someone. All in all I think the party was a success and help everyone to get excited about Indiana Jones again, too bad I hear the movie FOUR isn't so hot.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Slide Me Soft Lee

We are now officially horse owners. Emily and I (this is the Despondent Debonair) purchased "Slide Me Soft Lee" for the large investment price of $1,500. She is a registered, 3 yr. old paint horse with only one white spot on her back leg. She is suppose to be a bay (a brown horse with a black main and tail) but her tail is actually blond. She is already "roaning" out quite a bit, thus gaining more white hairs across her body, so who knows what she'll look like when older. Right now she is about 14.3 hands tall (4 inches a hand) at the wither, which means she is short. She is fairly wild and unbroke at the current moment. Her mother and father are both money earners in the show ring cutting cattle. She should preform well.

Hopefully soon I will have a new post of me riding her and future blog updates of our progress. All registered horses have a registered name and then their common or barn name. Emily and I thought hard to come up with something that would fit her sassy attitude and appearance. We finally settled on "Suave" (not the shampoo... the cool Spanish word for Softly)!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Run Amuck

Sometimes, you just need to play in the mud!

This weekend Reno put on the Reno River Festival. It is mostly a weekend of whitewater competitions, but this year they put on the first annual Run Amuck relay race. Kyler heard about it on the radio, so we decided to be a part of it. You signed up in teams of two with a 'baton' of Ivory soap to pass off between team members. Each person ran about two miles and had to crawl through a 60-foot long mud pit as well as go over/through several 'Objects of Mystery' (i.e. hurdling haybales, crawling post-mud through one of those blow-up kids' jumping obstacle objects). Also, costumes were highly recommended.

We were the "Brown's Fertilizer" team. Kyler, the creative genius that he is, came up with the idea and we went at it full force. The grass came from the bosses' new yard. The shirt decorations (if you look close) might later be used for their original purpose of fish bait. The shoes sucked to run in and most of the grass didn't make it to the finish line, but we had fun and a lot of people thought the costumes were great.

Also, below is a link to a video on the event on the Reno Gazette Journal website. We are in the video twice - - both before the race started, with full costumes and afterward when we were covered in mud and lost most of our grass.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Finally A New Barn

Hi gang,

Yes, we finally got our new barn completed for the alpacas. They began the work the beginning of December and finished at the end of April. The weather, illness and who knows what else delayed them. The alpacas are happy to be back in the fields again and boy is the grass good eating this time of year.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

LA Ri-ettes defeat SD All Stars!

Um, by a lot.
The final score was 118-14. San Diego never really had a chance - in the first five minutes they were down by 25. We actually had to re-set the scoreboard, since a 100 point game is almost unheard of in banked track where we skate one minute jams (thus limiting the amount of points that can be scored). But not only did we re-set the scoreboard back to zero, we still managed to take the lead again by the end of the game!

Jammer chase!

The pack

San Diego skater down.

Unfortunately, in the pre-game scrimmage on Monday, I broke the middle finger on my right hand. I guess I should be thankful that after almost two years of playing this crazy sport, this is the worst that has happened to me so far (knock on wood!). But the break isn't too bad, and I can still skate, I just have to wear this awfully ugly splint for a month.

Finally, this game marked my first ejection! Like in basketball - five penalties and you are outta there. I still claim only three of those penalties were legit - but what can you do?! By the end of the game, six of the LA skaters had been kicked out, so I was in good company. So at the end of the third quarter, I got to watch the rest of the game with Jessica in the stands, with a beer.

Venus DeMaulr and I get an ejection lap.The ejection welcome wagon.

There is an amusing write up at, with more awesome pictures, including my very first jam blocking (which I did a terrible job at), and the rarely seen leg whip.

Our last game of the regular season is May 31st - we play the Sirens one more time. The Cookies are hopeful we can remain undefeated going into the champs, but I know this is probably going to be the toughest game of the year!

Photo credits: 1, 2 and 4 by Kustomkulture Photography, 3 by Marc Campos, 5 by Charlie Chu.

First Paper Photo

Though uncredited I have my first print photo in this
weeks Philadelphia City Paper. The article is about some friends of mine and their band Shot x Shot. Though I took about 500 pictures and most of them were better than this one I'm still happy that they included my picture and never told me about it.
See photo and article here
for more photos from this session check out my flicker page

Monday, May 5, 2008

Grandma Michelle

Okay, here is my first attempt at this blogging thing.
Just wanted everyone to see me with four of my five step-grandkids!
These are all the children of Ken's oldest son, James. They are (from left to right), Semaj (age 7), Baby Omare (born 3/18/08 - here he is 5 days old), Jasmine (almost 9), and Marcel (age 5). For someone who chose never to have children, I sure married into a large family, didn't I?
The remaining grandchild is Tony and Stephanie's little boy, Jeovanni, who was born on my birthday on 9/20/07. Thank goodness - the little ones don't call me "grandma" - they call me by first name. I don't think I could handle the "granny" stuff!