Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

April 30, 2012

Zodiac Compatibility

I sometimes think there is something to astrology and the zodiac.  All the descriptions I've seen of Sagittarius, good and bad, have been pretty accurate, although there are some descriptions that aren't true in my case.

Same with my Aries squeeze.

Just for grins, I looked up our compatibility and was pleasantly surprised by the description:

"Aries and Sagittarius make an ideal combination and the compatibility between the two zodiac signs is quite good. The relationship between the two will be full of enthusiasm, passion, zeal and adventure. Both of them will complement each other in almost every way and there will be a light playfulness in the love match. The energy levels of both, an Aries as well as a Sagittarian, are quite high and neither of them will be required to subdue his enthusiasm even a slightest bit. Sagittarius will never ever feel threatened by the aggressiveness of Aries and Aries will add to the strength of Sagittarius.

Both of them need their individual space and will let the other person have his freedom too. In this relationship, no one will rule the other. One person will help the other in fighting tough times and will never ever let the other feel too low about failures. They will always stand by each other, whatever be the situation. Money is something they will have to be careful about. This is because the combination of an Aries and a Sagittarian means the entire shopping mall at home! Together, they will travel to far off places and fulfill their adventure needs.

Aries Man and Sagittarius Woman: The love match of an Aries man with a Sagittarius woman is one of those matches that were truly made in heaven. He will keep her entertained with his intelligence, while she will mesmerize him with her creativity. Their conversations will be intellectually stimulating. Both share a love for adventure and will mostly be on move, exploring new people and new places. Sagittarian woman will love his funny sense of humor and Aries man will find her charm intriguing. Except for a few glitches here and there, they will hardly find a problem with each other."

Our Chinese Zodiac compatibility is also spot on:

"Chinese Tiger and Dragon can have long lasting passion. They are affectionate and deeply care about each other. They will go to great lengths to make sure the other feels appreciated and desired. Their main problem is that both partners want to be in charge. They may fight about this a lot. They are well matched in this area, both in passion and emotion.

To make this union work, Tiger needs to be emotionally available to Dragon and Dragon needs to allow Tiger some space. They both need to learn to let go of their competitive natures when it comes to their relationship. Their magnetic personalities attract each other like moths to a flame. They are highly compatible in the bedroom. Dragon must figure out how to possess Tiger, who is courageous and independent. Tiger's emotional depth is understanding and compassionate. This makes for a dynamic and ever interesting relationship.

When this pairing consists of Tiger man and Dragon woman, they can find a perfect harmony."

April 28, 2012


Y is yet another letter with which I struggled to find a topic.  I was completely out of ideas.  I thought about maybe driving to Yarmouthport and shooting some pics but didn't feel like going that far, what with gas prices and all. Frustrated, I finally said to my squeeze, "I'm out of ideas.  If you can think of a topic for Y, have at it."  Without missing a beat, he goes, "Yonkers?"  Just like with the letter N, it was a major league "DUH!!!" moment!!!!  How could I have not thought of the place my family settled when they came from Italy?  A place I've been to hundreds of times?

My great grandfather, Giovanni Marganella, came to Yonkers from Corvara, Italy, and worked hard to afford the cost to bring his wife Filomena and their two small daughters, Ersilia, and my grandmother, Maria, to the USA in 1911 (Filomena's parents, sister and brothers settled in Connecticut).  Yonkers is very hilly and has a few that rival San Francisco's hills, especially in the neighbourhood in which my grandmother lived, Nodine Hill.  In 1645, a land grant was given to Adriaen van der Donck, who was known locally as a 'Jonkheer', which is Dutch for 'gentleman'.  Yonkers is derived from 'Jonkheer'.

It's only about a 20 minute train ride to Grand Central Station in NYC, so it's an attractive place to live for commuters.  Parts of the city are beautiful.  My mom grew up there and all of it was nice in those days, but unfortunately the area where my grandmother and some aunts & uncles lived has deteriorated.  I only have one aunt and uncle left in Yonkers now, when once all my aunts, uncles and cousins lived there.  But throughout the 70s and 80s, they began to leave.

I spent a lot of time there as a child, and I have fond memories of making the rounds to see everyone.  I loved visiting Jeannie & Skee because I could see the clock from Yonkers Raceway out their kitchen window.  If I went down to the corner of their street, I could see part of the track and watch the trotter races.  I wish I had more pictures of Yonkers, but I don't.  And I don't see myself going there any time soon to shoot them.

Here's me and my dad, sometime in the spring of 1965, in front of the building in which my Aunt Gloria & Uncle Steve lived at the time, on Alder Street.  You can see the iconic water tower at the top of Nodine Hill in the background.  I always thought it kinda looked like the Jupiter 2 from "Lost in Space."

1968 or 69.  I loved that cowboy hat.  I lost it in Genung's Department Store on this trip.  Could my shorts be pulled up any higher?  They are practically in my armpits!

Looking all angelic, November 1968 at Nana's apartment.

Alder Street, 1974, walking my Aunt & Uncle's poodle.  Dig those groovy bell bottoms.

July 1972, me, Nana and my mom, on our way to my cousin's wedding.  Those 70's grandmother is wearing silver shoes.  Mom's rockin' the "Maude" look.  And the less said about my short hemline, the better.

This is my grandmother's apartment building on Alder Street, as it appeared in the mid-80's, one of the last times I was there.  There was a little alley between this building and the one next to it, and her apartment was down the alley, almost underground.  Therefore, her apt. windows are not shown in this picture b/c they can't be seen.  She moved there in the late 60s, from an apt. across the street.

I doubt I'll return to Yonkers again but I'm glad it was such a big part of my childhood.

April 27, 2012

X-Files: The Truth is Out There

I loved the first four seasons of The X-Files.  As is my usual 'MO', I come to shows a little bit late, so I didn't get into X-Files till a couple of years had gone by.  My cousin Diane had developed a HUGE crush on David Duchovny and she was after me to watch the show.  She sent me a VHS tape of 6 hours' worth of episodes.  I watched the first one and was hooked.  That was a marathon day, watching all 6 hours right in a row.  When I was done, I called her and said, "MORE! NOW!"  She dubbed off a few more episodes for me, to catch me up, while I began watching each Sunday night.

I joined the fan club too.  It came with this I Want to Believe poster.  That was really the main reason I joined the fan club, to get the poster.  

The scenery in the episodes was awesome too; I found out it was shot in and around Vancouver, BC.  Although I must say, the PNW region made for a very poor stand-in for episodes that took place in Marin County (where I was living when I watched the show) and Massachusetts!!!  There was one episode, "Ascension", where Mulder is in a gondola going up the mountain and his nemesis, Alex Krycek, stopped the ride, stranding Mulder & leaving him swinging high above the ground.  He climbed out the top and climbed the cables to get to the top.  It was supposed to be set at the fictional Skyland Mountain, in the Blue Ridge of Virginia, but there was all of Vancouver and the Strait of Georgia, far below, as seen in this picture:

Ain't no way that realistically could pass for Virginia!!  For one thing, you can't see water from the Blue Ridge Mountains.  But I digress.

This was my pumpkin, Halloween of 1997 in Fairfax, CA.

Put it in the front window with the purple lava lamp and Tesla Coil Ball.  It looked wicked cool but I think we got a grand total of 4 kids that night.

I thought the show was on the way to jumping the shark after Season 4.  They moved the show out of Vancouver to Los Angeles which totally changed the look.  Gone were the foggy, primeval, creepy forests , lakes and streams.  They never made any attempt to explain what happened to Mulder's sister Samantha, or what happened to Scully when she was abducted.  The movie came out and I went to see it, and I left as confused as when I went in.  It was like, Come ON already!  What happened to Samantha? Was it really aliens? Or a government experiment in cloning based on alien technology?  I never did find out if that was resolved.

Still, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny had amazing chemistry on screen, but off screen they weren't friends and barely spoke, yet on the show I really thought they were gonna get together.  Skinner was great, although he pissed me off more than once.  The Cigarette Smoking Man was one of my faves, so was Krycek.  But then David left, Gillian's role was greatly reduced and no offense to either Annabeth Gish or Robert Patrick, both of whom I love, the show just lost everything about it that made it so great.

I have lots of fave episodes, it's too hard to pick just one.  They were all pretty awesome, those first 4 years.  "Home" is the one that sticks out the most, from Season 4, because it pushed the envelope so much that it's rarely ever broadcast as a rerun.  You can read about it HERE.  I've watched it a couple times on the DVD, and let's just say that I'll never be able to hear Johnny Mathis' "It's wonderful, wonderful" the same way again.

Did you like the X-Files?  What was your fave episode?

April 26, 2012

Wareham Narrows

Crane along the Narrows in Wareham.

Nantucket Lightship

This is the biggest amphibious "duck" I have ever seen.  I don't think it's been used in ages though.

April 25, 2012

Victoria BC: My Fave Place

My regular readers have lived my various and sundry adventures to Vancouver Island and my fave city, Victoria, BC.  Search the word "Victoria" on this blog and tons and tons of posts and photos will pop up, should you wish to view photos of this beautiful Garden City.

I love to shop, and I have come home from each trip to Vic with tons of souvenirs, mostly made in China - a resin box, a waterglobe, keychains, a toy doubledecker bus, antique beaded purses, etc. etc.  However, I always made sure to also purchase arts and crafts made by local artisans.  Here are some pictures of some pieces I've picked up in Victoria.

This orca whale pendant was made on Vancouver Island.  It was sold on a black cord but I made a necklace for it.

This notecard of the BC Legislative Buildings is called "Night Light" by Blaine Jackson.  I have another of his notecards featuring the Empress Hotel.  I looked him up online and found out that he passed away at age 44, in 1999.  

Another notecard of Parliament, also called "Night Lights" by artist Grant Fuller.  I have a second one of his of Butchart Gardens.

I fell in love with these paint splattered and beaded notecards and bought one, or more, on every trip to Victoria.  They are made by a First Nations Artist on Vancouver Island, but I was unable to locate her name in my scrapbooks.  

This was the last one I was able to purchase, in late 2010 on what would be my last trip to Vic.  The owner of the store that sold them, Instinct Art & Gifts, told me that she was no longer making the cards, they had been unable to get ahold of her for many months, and this was the last one they had. 

This gorgeous beaded purse is by Liane Mann at Amulet Art.  She had the most amazing selection of amulet bags that she'd made and was selling at the Bastion Square Festival of the Arts.  It was hard to choose just one!!  Sadly, I never saw her there again and her website is gone.  I am so grateful to have purchased one of her beautiful bags.

An amazing painting by the brothers at SprayBombs.  I highly recommend checking out the link and watching the time elapsed video of how they create a painting.  These young men have been painting on the Inner Harbour Causeway in the summer for years.  Just like with the amulet bags, I had a hard time choosing one, and decided to go with this orca whale, to commemorate the whale watch I'd gone on a day or so before.

Finally, I was able to find a souvenir t-shirt, actually made in Canada, with a design by Keith Tait, of the Gitksan Carrier Band First Nations of Northern BC.

I don't know when I will get back to Victoria.  I hope to.....someday.

April 24, 2012

Ultimate Dog Tease

I absolutely cannot get enough of this video.  It already has over 98,000,000 views.  You read that right:  Ninety Eight Million.  

April 23, 2012

Tesla Coil Ball

I've always loved the Tesla Coil light balls, after seeing them in an art display in Boston, back when I was in college.  My ex got me one for Christmas one year, which was a surprise because I never mentioned my wanting one before, but I was happy to accept it.  It's survived several moves without breaking, and must be almost 20 years old by now.  Technically I think it's called a Plasma Lamp, but I've always called it a Tesla ball.

Groovy, eh?

April 21, 2012

Scraggy Neck

I went to do some beachcombing at Scraggy Neck, in the Pocasset/Cataumet area of Bourne, not too far from Mashnee Island.  I chose these beaches because of their proximity to the oncoming waves in Buzzards Bay, and because they were probably not likely to be visited by people looking for beach glass.  I was betting on some decent finds, especially being the end of the winter stormy weather and before summer arrives.  

I must admit to a sense of entitlement when it comes to visiting places like this.  I cavalierly ignored the "Private Beach! No Trespassing! Residents Only!" signs, drove to the beaches, parked and walked to my heart's content.  I figured I could get away with it, that time of year and in the middle of a weekday.  While I brought Sagan and Pepper with me, I didn't bring them out on the beach with me b/c I just didn't think it'd be a good idea, plus my car would be less likely to be towed with 2 dogs, one of which is a German shepherd, in it.

It was a very windy day, but mild.

This is the Cleveland Ledge Lighthouse. I'd never even heard of it before.  It was built in 1943 and automated in 1978.  It marks the western entrance of the Canal.  It was named after President Grover Cleveland, whose summer white house was at Gray Gables in Bourne.

Funky cracked rock

Coast Guard chopper.

Path to the beach

Epic success!!  Some aren't quite worn all the way, but my 'keep or toss back in the water guide' is, if it can't cut me, it comes home with me.  And no blue shard is ever turned down, able to cut me or not.

More shells and cool stones.  I can't get enough of the beautiful rocks and stones on the beaches here.  I just wish there was a way to identify them.  There seems to be a lot of quartz-type stuff in all colours and they look beautiful when wet.  I really need a rock tumbler!  The one large rock on the far right side glitters with gold sparkles!!!