Monday, December 19, 2011

JD Vernon

Breathtaking. As I dive deeper into the past of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, I am rewarded with these finds daily. It's as if I can't read enough articles about him. Listening to him sing in my ear all day does not satiate me. I'm enamored with his music, his voice, his fingers on the piano keys. It's been a long, long time since I felt this close to a musical artist. These rare song finds, sometimes listed under pseudonyms or various band names, make me feel like I've struck gold when I come across them. That makes the sound that much sweeter, that much more clutching.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to One Safe Place.

Today marks 5 years since the start of this blog. I know I don't post as often as I should, and I can't make any promises, but I'm hoping to start posting entries a little more often.

Hope you are all well!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I want to comment on the heinous new/grand jury report that was announced on Sunday. Growing up in Delaware, a few hours from Penn State, I know a good number of people who are connected to the university. I have many friends, including a good friend from high school, who graduated from Penn State. I also know a lot of people through the Y who live in the State College area. This child sex abuse scandal is really hitting home for me... it's showing up all over my FB newsfeed, and is being discussed all around me. And I'm having a really hard time hearing what some of these people are saying. The urgent jump to defend the University and Joe Paterno seems a little strange to me. My friend S (who lives and works in the State College area) put it best in her status on Facebook last night:

I guess at this point, and maybe because I did not attend school or grow up here, but I feel pride is not an emotion that should have a place in our immediate discussions. Perhaps soon, but for now, I worry less about Joe Paterno and Penn State and more about how those innocent children and their families feel when they hear or see somebody defending or supporting the institution and those involved.

That's exactly how I feel as well. Maybe its the social work/child-centered part of me that makes me feel this way. It was announced this morning that Joe Paterno will be retiring at the end of the season (the man is 84 years old anyway). While I understand how many are feeling that "this is not how it was supposed to happen", I think that entirely too much attention is being given to him. Students at Penn State are rioting, with picket signs and everything! Calling for him to stay. I'm in no place to judge whether or not Joe Paterno should stay or go. I do have my opinion of whether I believe he acted right or wrong, legally and morally - I think that yes, he acted legally correctly IN THE MINIMALIST OF WAYS, as in, he could have done so much more. But morally... morally, he was 100% in the wrong. No questions. And he will have to live with that for the rest of his life. He could have saved a handful of kids (or more... the number of victims has doubled since Sunday, with more potential victims coming forward everyday since the news was announced) from the heartache and horror of sexual abuse, had he initially gone to the police when the situation was presented to him.

Yes, I do believe that Jerry Sandusky is the abuser, the bad guy, the evil one. But, those who knew something was going on and did not go directly to police? Curley, Schultz, Paterno, the janitor who witnessed the shower incident, the superior he reported it to who kept his mouth shut, and especially the eyewitness, the graduate assistant MaQueary. Those people are the ones who are going to have to look at themselves in the mirror every day for the rest of their lives and see the reflection of someone who KNEW, who KNEW and allowed a grown man to abuse his power and status for many years and corrupt innocent children, altering their lives forever. There is one question I just keep asking myself. How did not a single person go to the police with this information? I also wonder just how many people knew... it had to be a lot more than just those 5 or 6 men.

So, with so many people not going to the police with such a pressing, devastating, life altering matter, one has to question, why? As I posted on my Facebook status, with a link to an interesting article in the NY Times today, the sense of secrecy must have been fueled by something. The urge to protect the prestige of the program, the money flow (Penn State brings in millions of dollars each year from football games), salaries and pensions, and the good name that Penn State has in our country and with college football fans. The 'Grandfather of College Athletics' as JoePa is often referred to, obviously wanted minimal tarnish to his program's name, a program that he has been in charge of for 45 years. And covering it up at the cost of children and their innocence is beyond me...totally beyond me.

Everyone is so worked up about it. People have all these opinions and, as with most high profile sex abuse scandals, the attention is being thrown to the wrong places. In my opinion, these nameless boys that have come forward and bravely given information about their abuser are the ones who deserve our attention and our support. Not Penn State Athletics, and certainly not the Coach-God who knew that it was happening and did not do enough to stop it.

How do these boys feel right now? Yes, their abuser will receive punishment for his crimes. But, showing support for the man who didn't do enough, who could have done so much more... that's embarrassing. The message being sent it, "It wasn't okay for Jerry Sandusky to abuse you, but it was okay for Joe Pa to know about it and let it happen".

The least that can be done is to turn the support those nameless boys who have come forward. They are the victims.

Not an 84 year old football coach who may be forced to retire from his job.

Support the real victims in this case.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Thought I'd post a playlist of songs I've been into lately. Rach - if you read this, don't download any of them until after you get my package!

As of 11/2

Iron & Wine - Flightless Bird, American Mouth
Birdy - Skinny Love (yes, this is a Bon Iver song...people get so upset that anyone covers Bon Iver. I can see why, as this is the only girl I've ever heard do any of his songs justice.)
James Vincent McMorrow - Higher Love
The Middle East - Blood
Foster the People - Helena Beat
The Head and the Heart - Down in the Valley
Bon Iver - I Can't Make You Love Me
Noah and the Whale - 5 years Time
Rihanna - We Found Love
Matt & Kim - Good for Great
Billy Bragg & Wilco - At My Window Sad and Lonely
Bon Iver - Holocene
Ray LaMontagne - Jolene

Kind of reflects my mood when I'm actually listening to music these days - mellow stuff for while I'm at work getting things done. Oh, except for the Rihanna song. That's just for dancing in my chair when I'm alone in my office.

This has to be one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. For some reason, the soft saxophone (or clarinet, can't tell - any instrument inclined people out there?) during the buildup of the chorus stirs up really deep emotions inside. I still get chills when I listen to it. And the music video is just as beautiful:

Wonderful song - can't wait to see these guys live someday:

Another great tune - it picks up about halfway through:

If anyone actually reads this anymore, I'd love to hear what you've been listening to lately.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Update: September 13, 2011

I got a new job... It's with the Graduate School of Education at a university in Cambridge. I'm excited to be working at a university and really looking forward to jumping back into research. Also, we are moving. If there was a contest over who could move the most times in a 12 month period, I would win. But, we're going to live in Cambridge, in the middle of all the action. 3 blocks from the T, and a 15 minute bus ride from Harvard Sq, so getting to work will be super easy. Also, our apartment is enormous. It's almost twice the size of our 430 sq. ft. current apartment.

I am saddened and disappointed by the passing of the Gay Marriage Ban by the House and Senate in the state of North Carolina (to be put on the May 2012 polls for a public vote). I have a feeling that I know how that is going to end up.

Sadly, I know many gay and lesbian families in North Carolina - I lived there for 5 years. It's heartbreaking to see how this is going to affect them. This amendment would also ban domestic partners from using each others' health insurance benefits. Sickening.

To end this on a good note - I joined a women's lacrosse league and a book club in order to start meeting more people in Boston and to get back in shape. They both start next week... I'm incredibly out of shape, as I haven't exercised regularly since rugby ended in the spring of 2010. It should be fun... I hope.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I am in constant amazement of the capabilities of my iPhone camera. I often carry only my phone if I don't feel like lugging my camera bag because I know I'll be able to use it and get results that I am pleased with.

There are a ton of camera apps out there that enhance photos and while I do agree that a little photo touching up is certainly acceptable, it really seems like a lot of times iPhone photos are almost enhanced too much. (I am completely guilty of this sometimes!)

Hillary gifted me an app tonight that I'd been considering buying... a friend of hers at work uses it and recently submitted some of his photos into a contest. It's a very interactive app, and not one you would use to whip out your camera and snap that quick photo of someone doing something funny. It's more of a "let's test out these different lenses/films/flashes." Instead of post-processing your phone photos, you're applying "settings" beforehand. This app made me want to go out and test everything out in different lighting, different surroundings... it made me feel like I had a new camera! Which is silly because... dun duh-duhh! It's a $0.99 application on a phone.

Oh well. At least it's making me feel happy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

First Collection of Diana+ Photos

When my beautiful, Parisian Diana F+ was shattered on St. Patrick's Day by a drunken man who was only trying to help, a little piece of my heart shattered with it. When the camera broke, the film escaped and I watched it fly up in to the air, exposing everything to the light. Photos of Kylie. Photos of Sydney. Photos of Boston. Gone to the daylight. I was devastated. It was my very first roll of film I'd loaded into the camera.

So, the night before my birthday, the day we moved... I was beyond SHOCKED to receive as an early birthday present from Hillary - The Diana F+ Deluxe Kit! It was gorgeous... I took out each piece and examined them all separately, reading the separate manuals for each lens. All of the little pieces and accessories were like magic, the excitement was like Christmas Morning as a 9 year old.

I've been shooting with the manual, plastic camera for a few months now. Photography is something I love, and the feeling of picking up photos from a developer takes me back to days when we all used film instead of digital cameras. Getting that little sealed envelope back was more exciting than watching your photos load onto your computer.

Here is a collection of my favorites so far: