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listen:
"Amelie" soundtrack
Yann Tiersen

read:
the bondwoman's narrative
amy's answering machine
bobos in paradise
fast food nation

watch:
sweet smell of success
pillow talk
monsoon wedding
last orders

laugh:
lileks (james)
peter pan

Sunday, May 19, 2002

The goal: a habitable city to have an adult life. The game plan: escaping New York outer-borough exile. The result: Philadelphia Freedom. Yes, it's true. That kitschy Elton John chestnut has become my Soundrack '02. I have returned to that enchanted place where the ceilings are high and the rent is low. A city that Loves You Back. Thank you, indeed, Brian Friel, Philadelphia, here I come.

It may have taken me eight years to realize the above goal, but I feel like I am back home. At the moment, spring has sprung, and, of course, nostalgia abounds. Gone are the halcyon Temple days and early post-college years, when priorities were making the scene at the Khyber and knowing one hip indie band from the next. I have come both full-circle and exactly five blocks away from my life 15 years ago, from a now condemned building at 19th and Sansom, to bourgeois, yuppie heaven at 20th and Spruce.

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Nowadays, I am both rounder (in physique) and squarer (in tastes). The hipsters have all moved to Northern Liberties. And here I am, with my ass planted in Rittenhouse Square. With my Master's Degree, hardwood floors, credit card debt, and re-bumpered Honda. Surprising myself, liking life and generally feeling good about the fu-chah.

So that's my big update.

Some website decisions: Instead of using this blog thing to chronicle my wild life and fast times (irony intended), I have resolved to get off my sagging arse and write up this genealogy thing. Instead of overwhelming myself with thoughts of an ideal finished product, I think I am going to post periodic sections in chapter format. Installments will live on the blog for a spell, then move to a more permanent home on lauralounge, yet to be created.

Stay tuned for…..Coelestin Erbacher, Barbara Zirkel, Whatever happened to baby Apolonia? Mummlingen Bayern, and the fate of Sebastian Baumeister: Brewery Truck Bender or Accidental Submersion?

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Aunthood is powerful. Spoke to Babs to thank her for my Pablo Neruda t-shirt. Spent a good spell chatting with her and catching up. Enjoyed hearing about her South American adventures. Hiking in the Andes, followed by stays in Santiago and Montevideo. Indeed, travel and adventure should not be reserved exclusively to "youts" like myself. You go, Babs. God bless her 66-year-old ass.

Our conversation got me winsome for considering my next trip. I've put these notions on hold, pending resolution of various long term goals. If things go one way, perhaps a fall excursion may be in order. In recent years, I've found Thanksgiving week to be particularly agreeable: less dirty Americans abroad, no "high-season" price-gouging, and generally pleasant walking weather.

Weekend plans: Indian Cafe and "Mama Mia" on Broadway. Also, "From a Whisper to A Scream" on Bravo this St. Paddy's day. I've been on the look-out for this, since I saw Patricia O'Reilly's teaser about it on some months back.

Friday, March 08, 2002

Recent genealogy discoveries: Connections to distant relations in Michigan reveal new information about the professions of the Egan and Sullivan clans of LES Manhattan: lacemaking and wire-cutting.

Also unearthed: millitary histories of Coelestin Erbacher, who fought for the Union in the Civil War, and had the first joint of the little finger of his left hand shot off during the Battle of Gettysburg. Who new such minute, macabre detail would be revealed in these documents?

And Charles Christian Fischer, who fought in the Mexican War, and was registered as fighting in the battle of Chepultapec. His wife Anna's grave reveals the cheery epitaph, "She hath done the best she could." How Ethan-Frome like is that?

Movie plans for the weekend: "Last Orders" starring Michael Caine and *Sexy Beast* Ray Winstone.


Wednesday, October 17, 2001

The new files have all been uploaded, and I have to say they don't look half bad. I got to the point where if I spent much more time obsessing about code, I would never get this thing up and running. I have noticed a few small bugs yet to work out

Today I can't figure out if I have the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome, or I somehow pulled the muscles in my left arm as I was "power walking" last night. Playing several maniacal games of Tetris probably isn't helping matters, either. Type, type, ouch ouch!

Saw "Dinner Rush" over the weekend. Not bad, although John Corbett, who I like in SITC - is too damn attractive to believably play a hitman - even a low key, wall-street-suit by day one.

A question to myself: Dave Pelzer's books: Legitimate self-help literature or maudlin hooey? After reading "A Child Called It" - I kept thinking, why was this kid the only one of his brothers to be treated so hellishly, and why didn't his father and brothers do more to help? Also, how was it that the mother went from a loving presence to a sadistic, alcoholic torturer? I kept feeling the need for more background information to buy into it, which, I guiltily admit, I can't completely do. What would Oprah say?

This weekend I plan to head to Philly for a visit with Michele. Should be fun. Monday I have off and will be doing some more archive trolling at the Municipal Archives. I haven't been there since the whole WTC disaster hit, and it's quite close to the towers. Argh. I don't think I'm up for anything too emotional. Next weekend Aunt Judith is visiting and I will be accompanying the Fisher girls to the Full Monty. Not my pick - but it's bound to be somewhat amusing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

My research trip to fabulous Rensselaer County, New York was a success. I uncovered various deeds for a farm/homestead owned by Emlyn and Lydia Morgan. It turns out these properties were previously owned by assorted historical figures from the area, the Van Rensselaer's and Defreest's, among them. No wills to speak of, unfortunately. Had to walk through the courtroom while *court was in session* to get to the surrogate's court, and was treated to a bizzare display of court officers merrily trotting through shackled prisoners. Charming, truly. And I thought my library was laid out poorly. Found the grave for Lydia and Emlyn and took some snaps. Does this sounds a bit ghoulish? That's me, ever the dedicated genealogist, willing to chronicle every slice of family lore at my disposal. Or maybe I'm just a big freak

Have been revamping pages and teaching myself cascading style sheets in an effort to get some continuity going with the site. I'm slowly figuring it out and have been trying very basic things.

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