Another holiday comes and goes


December’s meme

1. How many Facebook friends do you have? No Facebook for me, thanks.

2. How many tweets have you made today? No Twitter for me yet. Maybe later.

3. Name something about the holidays that you loved when you were younger. My birthday tradition for years, when my parents took me to South Street Seaport to see the singing holiday tree, and then have dinner at Sweets Restaurant, which had been on the waterfront since 1847. Also, them taking me each year to see “The Nutcracker” at Lincoln Center, and the Rockettes/Radio City Christmas show.

4. What was the last online purchase you made? A holiday prezzie.

5. What was the last website you bookmarked? A site about the artist Reginald Marsh because the other day we were at an art museum that showed some of his work and I’d never heard of him.

6. What’s in the trunk of your car? Jumper cables… small snow shovel… blanket… first aid kit… road atlas… radio/alarm/flashlight contraption that needs new batteries… package of Windex wipes… old wiper blade containers… bicycle rack.

7. Are you rooted to where you currently live? In the state, but not the city. When the time comes to buy a house in NH, it won’t be in Manchester.

8. How many emails do you receive per day in your personal email account? Awhile back I set up Google Alerts for lots of news stories, so my inbox is always updated with one thing or other. I like having the news delivered to me, rather than spending too much time searching the web to get the news. Thanks to a Google Alert, I’ve probably read every article written about Liv and Cate’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” at BAM.

9. How many emails do you receive per day in your work email account? Way, way, way too many.

10. Will you be changing your last name when you get married? I’m already married, and no, I kept my name. Giving up one’s name and identity in marriage has always been an absurd concept to me.

11. When was the last time you colored your hair? Never have and never will. Every strand of gray is another pearl of wisdom.

12. What book are you reading right now? “The Tender Bar” by J.R. Moehringer.

13. How many cigarettes have you smoked so far today? No nicotine for me, thanks.

14. What would you rather be doing than your current job? Yesterday? Shop owner. Today? Stay-at-home playwright. Tomorrow? Something else.

15. Do you wear a bathrobe? You think I’m six years old? That’s when I had a hand-me-down from Jimmy Pat—a spectacularly-striped tiger robe.

16. What is/was your favorite set of pajamas? My one-piece footsies as a kid, but I can’t recall the pattern. Maybe there wasn’t a pattern. Maybe they were light blue.

17. Name something about yourself that might surprise others. I go through phases where I only listen to classical music. And I always love listening to choirs. Probably because I sang mezzo-soprano in high school glee club for four years and know how difficult it can be. I never get to see choirs perform live anymore, so I seek it out on radio, television, and CD. Secular, non-secular, doesn’t matter to me.

18. Metal lunchbox as a kid? You betcha. Snoopy.

19. Sesame Street fan? Ah, good question. I remember watching the very first episode that aired. My mom made a big deal of a new show that she heard about, and sat me down in front of the television that day. I’ve yet to meet anyone else who can claim this.

20. Favorite character? Cookie Monster.

21. Did your Barbie have a good life? The best. She had an airplane, a yacht, and a camper. And her boyfriend was G.I. Joe, not Ken.

22. How many ornaments does your tree have? A lot, but still not enough.

23. Where do you get your news? In daily chronological order: NPR radio, NY Times website, Boston Globe website, Manchester’s Union Leader website, local WMUR television.

24. Have you ever entered a radio contest? Nay.

25. Did you win? See number 24.

26. Do you hang mistletoe in your home? I hang a Scandinavian wicker reindeer carousel. Maybe we can start pretending it’s mistletoe.

27. Did you ever see Santa in your house when you were young? Yes, when I was three. It was our neighbor dressed as Santa. My Dad got me out of bed to stand at the top of the stairs and watch Santa in the living room below placing the presents under the tree. It was magical. A year later my parents hoodwinked me again, telling me on Christmas morning that the mud on the kitchen floor came from Santa’s boots because he had parked his sleigh in the backyard and came through the back door. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker, and ran through the house screaming with delight that Santa left physical proof other than a half-eaten cookie.

28. Will you be having a white Christmas? It’s been white since December 5.

29. What is your ancestry? Irish, Norwegian, and probably some Swedish, and probably some Scottish.

30. What is one celebrity death you’ll dread of hearing the most? Since Sesame Street is on my mind, Carroll Spinney aka Big Bird.

Somewhere I’ve been

A note about the new site’s header—I’m planning on updating it here and there, using a photo of somewhere I’ve been.

I thought I’d start with family land in Ireland and this view of Inver Bay in Donegal is from couseen Ann’s land behind her house.

Between my many trips to Ireland, and my trip to Norway in 2000, I have a plethora of photos to choose from. I also have scenic photos from my frequent travels to England, my trip to France, as well as all my U.S. wanderings. My plan is to rotate the photo monthly—we’ll see if it happens.

Strawbery Banke Candlelight Stroll

On Sunday, December 6, we were in Portsmouth, NH for a holiday party with the theatre group that Shawn just finished working with, and afterward headed over to the Strawbery Banke Museum for their annual candlelight stroll, our first time for this event.

We visited the interiors of all the houses where they had reenactors who were preparing holiday meals at the fireplaces. We also stopped in the barn to warm up with a cup of hot cider by the wood-burning stove, and Shawn enjoyed roasted chestnuts while we watched the entertainment, before ending the night fireside.

I tried to capture as much natural light as possible by not using my flash, but wound up with semi-blurry photos.

Click for photos from December 6, 2009

She married us…

…and now she’s married.

Laura and Chad were hitched on a wintry holiday-season evening.

Click for photos from December 5, 2009


Last night the Juletre went up, so the Jul season has officially begun in this household.

David’s latest Grammy nomination

If he wins, it will be Grammy # 5 for the bookshelf.

Category 96
Producer Of The Year, Classical
David Frost

  • An American Journey (Eroica Trio)
  • Journey To The New World (Sharon Isbin, Mark O’Connor & Joan Baez)
  • Korngold: Violin Concerto; Schauspiel Overture; Much Ado About Nothing (Philippe Quint, Carlos Miguel Prieto & Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria)
  • Mozart: Piano Concertos 21 & 22 (Jonathan Biss & Orpheus Chamber Orchestra)
  • O’Connor, Mark: String Quartets Nos. 2 & 3 (Ida Kavafian, Mark O’Connor, Paul Neubauer & Matt Haimovitz)

Decca was late in submitting the Renee Fleming album to the nominating committee, so it didn’t make this year’s cut.

Last year’s winnings.

Pile o' trophies