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Holiday wishlist

For anyone who is interested, things that I would like:

1. Tips for online entertainment and enlightenment. Web shows, entertaining podcasts, serialized novels, instructional sites. Basically I just want to never have to leave my computer.
2. Recommendations for programs or apps I shouldn't live without, for iphone or Chrome.
3. New lj icons, especially ones made for me personally. Especially one with a drawing of myself.
4. Handmade things. I like pretties. Especially jewelry or things I can hang on my walls.
5. Books. I'll read almost anything, and I like used/unwanted books.
6. Yarn! Especially novelty yarns and things that are soft.
7. Resources or tips for things on my 101 in 1001 list.
8. Anything edible. I especially like chocolate and baked goods, but I am a fan of most foods.
9. If you can, get a flu shot. Because I like all of you better when you're not sick, and herd immunity is like a present for everyone.
10. Donations to The St. Bernard Project. They're an organization that started off rebuilding homes after Katrina, and they're still doing that. They also have programs to support affordable homeownership, train veterans for construction jobs, and run the only free mental health clinic in the area.

If you have a list, link me to it! And for those who missed it, my card sign-up is here.
I was 12 the first time I realized the Beanie Babies would be a problem. My mother had confronted me, brandishing one of my sister's toys. "The tag is off," she said, accusingly. "Did you let her take the tag off? Did you let her play with it?"

I couldn't actually recognize the small frog as anything more then one of the many stuffed animals cluttering up our house, but my mother set me straight. "They're collectors items," she informed me. "It was online. Did you save the tag? Do we have any more?"

Before long I had to clean off most of shelves in my room for the growing army of bean-bag animals. Not the 'retired' ones, of course - my mother put those in some hiding place, not trusting them to my care. But there were still hundreds from the active line, plus five or ten backups of each 'rare' one, all needing little plastic cases and notecards. My room was the one area of the house relatively undamaged by the chaos of small children and pets, so converting it to Beanie Baby storage seemed logical - even when the shelves weren't enough and the stacked boxes made it hard to get into my closet. I didn't need to keep clothes in my closet anyway, as my mother pointed out. I hardly wore most of those things anyway, and then we could use the shelves in there too.

It was only fair, since she was doing this for me. These toys would make me and my sisters rich someday.

One morning we got to the mall at 4am, after someone who worked at a shop there had told my mother there would be a shipment of a limited release beanie we were hunting down. My mother and I took turns dozing in the car, since one of us had to keep watch in case other hopefuls started lining up. By this time our store checks are on a regimented weekly schedule, and mother knows when every seller in the area gets their regular deliveries. I'd have stayed home if I could, but most places set a per-person limit. And if just getting the allowed 1 or 2 or 5 beanies was good, getting twice that many had to be better.

The yearly McDonald's tie-in meant two weeks of eating nothing but kiddie sized hamburgers. "You're wasting food," my mother complaind, when I wouldn't attempt to re-heat the day-old fries for breakfast. We had to go every day, of course - each of the mini happy-meal toys was only available for one or two days - but that wan't enough, because there were hints that the release schedule might not be the same at every restaurant. We drove for hours to hit every McDonald's in the area, each with a seemingly endless line.

I can't remember ever not being a skeptic. I've never wanted to get in on the ground-floor of a trend - I'd rather let other people go first and look for flaws in their logic. I saw the crowds of collectors swarming the fast food chain and did rough mental calculations, estimating how many desperate buyers - just like us - there were nationwide, and couldn't believe anything being sold by the millions would really keep increasing in value.

But I knew better then to tell that to my mother. When the next guidebook came out we had to re-evaluate the collection, and she was outraged to find the one happy-meal toy we somehow missed was listed as being worth $50.

The last time I visited my old home, I saw the beanie babies piled in trash-bags, taking up most of the spare room. I offered to get rid of them for my mother, but she wouldn't let me.

Maybe she still thinks they'll make her rich. Someday.


lj idol week 6

I love food when I don't need it.

A list of symptoms for dangerously low blood sugar notes that "In moderate hypoglycemia, your ability to communicate, pick an appropriate food, or realize that you should do something to raise your blood glucose level may be impaired." What this means is that I'll tell a friend "I'm hungry," but I really mean that I have a headache and I'm starting to get nauseous and I went a bit dizzy when I stood up, and I should have had a meal four hours ago. But I don't say that.

So my friend will ask me how I feel about chicken for dinner, and I'll look at them like they've demanded I both invent cold fusion and solve world peace before they'll allow me to eat. I don't know how I feel about chicken. I can remember eating it, I can remember liking it, but at the moment, the reason why is beyond me. I don't like chicken. I don't like food. Why should I have to eat, anyway?

I am actually, on a day to day basis, pretty good at taking care of myself. The problem comes when my schedule gets thrown off, for whatever reason, when I am stressed or tired or distracted. If I go past the hungry stage and into the grumpy-with-bad-judgment stage, I can function if I'm pointed at clearly defined tasks but have no ability to make decisions.

I know, of course, the whole time, that the sooner I stop dithering and actually eat something, the sooner I can start to feel better. But it's a distant and unimportant sort of knowledge, compared to the fact that I'm not really hungry and I don't want to have to go anywhere and it's not like sitting still for ten more minutes will really hurt, right?

I can walk in circles around a grocery store and not find anything that looks appetizing. That pizza looks like too much food, the candy bar isn't healthy - and god forbid I not eat healthy - cooking pasta is too much work. I could get the frozen waffles. I've never had frozen waffles, but they somehow look soothing. They're supposed to go in a toaster - I could buy a toaster - but then I'd need to take them home, and I'm not sure I can manage that. It's a warm day. If I sat outside with them for a while, would they defrost enough to eat?

I've seen recordings of tests they do on mountain climbers suffering from oxygen deprivation, where the climbers stumble over simple tasks and mix up words, all the while insisting they're fine. They don't need help, their judgement isn't impaired, they don't need oxygen, everything is perfect.

I've never climbed a mountain. But I'm pretty sure I know what it feels like.


Many things.

I spent most of Thanksgiving week at teaberryblue's farmhouse, petting the cats and occasionally chopping things while she cooked. Then we had Thanksgiving in sunny Delaware. It was, as usual, delicious.

I love Thanksgiving. And considering that a few years ago the most I would have felt for any holiday was begrudging tolerance, realizing that one can actually make me happy is pretty nice.

I am about 3/4 done with my 101 in 1001 list! I still have space for more, and I need to figure out specifics for some.


Also, if you missed it, my card post is here and I want to send you cards so fill it out. Even if you think I have your address.


I have a lot of actual life updates to post about, but the way I've been for the past few weeks every entry I might have made would have ended in incoherent keysmashing. Like, 'I need 40 more hours of doccumented training in this subject by next tuesday, sauhriewunkj.l;mn,' or "The prt of this project we just spent two weeks on turned out to be completely unnecessary aosiudbmabs;a/ld.' So you were probably better off without that.

Anyway. Cards? It seems like holiday cards time. If you would like a card, give me your address! The more the better. And if you have a card sign-up posted please point me at it, since I have not been keeping up with my friendslist very well lately.

Comments screened!

lj idol, week 4

Romance was a lot more dangerous back when the goddess of vengeance would get involved.

Nemesis wasn't about revenge, not in the petty sense. She was, essentially, a personification of the desire for people to get what was coming to them. She was righteous indignation and avenging fairness, counterbalancing undeserved good fortune and arrogance.

So if you met someone really, incredibly good looking and they were too self-absorbed to pay you any attention, you could appeal to Nemesis. "Oh One Who Cannot Be Escaped," you would say, "this guy thinks he's too good for me. He must be punished."

And she wouldn't tell you 'Maybe he's just not that into you,' or 'He's not looking for a relationship right now,' or 'Let's discuss your pattern of being attracted to men who are emotionally unavailable,' because she wasn't the goddess of talk-therapy. No, she was the goddess of retribution, and she would agree that yes, indeed, he must be punished. If Mr. Handsome is inspiring unrequited love, he should know what it feels like. And no one really deserves to be that good looking, anyway.

So then she'd send prettyboy off to fall hopelessly in love with his own reflection, until he starved to death or killed himself or got turned into a daffodil. And so balance would be restored to the universe.

But you still wouldn't have a date.


Nov. 11th, 2011

I've decided to do the '101 in 1001' thing. I'd been thinking about it for a while, but I figure I might as well start now, since most of that time frame also overlaps with my last 2 1/2 years as a 20-something.

At this point I don't so much have a list as an assortment of ideas. A lot of them are grandly ambitious, some need further research, and a few might be mutually contradictory. (If I get a serious professional-type job, I will probably not be able to take several months off to hike the appalachian trail.) For others, I need to figure out how to measure success. (I have a lot that say 'Do more. . . ' or 'Get good at. . . ')

Anyone have suggestions for things that should be on my list? Either tailored to me personally or just stuff you think everyone should do or learn.

lj idol, coprolite

Archaeologists spend a lot of their time trying to discredit and one-up their rivals. The fact that these rivals might otherwise be their best friends is irrelevant, but understandable when you realize the only people who can stand archaeologists when they're feeling bitter are the people they're ranting about.

I figured this out at my first job, when we went to visit the labs at a nearby museum and watched the director and my boss have the academic equivalent of a knock-down brawl. The director pointed out that they needed more labspace then we would, since they covered a lot more area then us each season. My boss said that was to be expected, since the museum's people were practically turning over ground with a backhoe, but he'd rather see his staff be careful. The director tried to show off his intact dugout canoe, sitting in a temperature-controlled tank. Boss pointed out that they'd had that for six years, and still hadn't figured out how to take it out of the water without it crumbling into pieces. So then the director said yes, wasn't it great how he had a big enough budget to get a fifteen foot water tank when he wanted one? And the boss quietly fumed until he took us on a tour of the exhibits so he could point at the placecards and go "See there where it says 'discovered by archaeologists'? They mean me," which I think helped bring his ego back into balance.

And this is about things that no one outside the field will ever care about. It's much worse if you get into an area where the stakes are higher. And in North American archaeology, it doesn't get more-high stakes then finding undeniable evidence of the earliest human settlement. 'Undeniable' is the important part. Re-writing the chronology of North American settlement means fighting with political agendas and religions and international relations and, most of all, every archaeologist who has the slightest hope that one of their sites will prove to be older.

There are plenty of artifacts from the Clovis culture, starting a bit over 13,000 years ago, that have enough evidence to be scientifically unimpeachable. Earlier? Well. You can't prove those butchery marks weren't made by a rockfall. That bone might have been sitting around for a thousand years before someone made it into a tool. That's not a hearth, it's just a small, circular fire that started by itself in a cave. Those radiocarbon dates are inconclusive. As for what the scientific articles call coprolites - human feces, dated to 14,500 years ago, from a cave in Oregon. . . well we don't talk about that if we can help it. There's probably a flaw in their dating. You can't prove there isn't.

Maybe we shouldn't have been so harsh about those butchery marks.


lj idol, three little words.

I didn't start to seriously worry until it got dark.

"One more hour!" the driver had cheerfully told us after we stopped for lunch. I wasn't really sure if I trusted him - for one thing, evidence was accumulating that he was actually informing on us to the Chilean government. But I comforted myself with the thought that this probably wouldn't effect his performance as a tour guide. We were going from one coastal town to another, our sixth move in ten days. Our destination looked close enough on the map, but I'd long since given up trying to make sense of distance in Chile. The long, thin country had destroyed my sense of proportion.

Our schedule had said the drive would take three hours, with a stop for lunch, and we would have time to unpack before dinner. Instead it took three hours to get to our lunch. A minor setback, we assumed, as we set out again in mid-afternoon. The driver said one more hour. We had to be close.

Two hours later, we were in the mountains. "This makes no sense," I told my friend in the next seat. "See, we started off here, and were going north, to here. . . the mountains are east. We're getting farther from the coast."

The driver shrugged, when we attempted to get an adjusted time of arrival. "One more hour."

The drive was scenic, but not exactly calming. The two-lane highway had sharp curves, high cliffs, and no concept of guardrails. Trucks transporting cut wood wizzed passed us at alarming speeds, and we passed a never-ending succession of shrines marking the sites of fatal accidents.

Somehow, though, it was worse after dark, when all we could see was the headlights of the trucks. Dinner time had passed. We stopped at a strange, small convenience store, and then passed the same town we had two hours before. Some of us tried to find out why we'd gone so far out of the way, but by this time we weren't surprised when all we got was another shrug, and the promise we'd be there in an hour.

By midnight -- about 13 hours after we'd left on our three-hour-trip - we demanded a rest stop. The driver seemed surprised that we were so insistent, since we were only an hour away. Some people paced. Some broke out the liquor. Some tried to find maps. By then, though, I had settled into a strange, zenlike calm. I no longer believed our destination existed. I didn't expect to ever get there. I knew it was my fate to be some bus-bound flying dutchman, riding the highways of South America until I passed into legend.

So it was almost a surprise when we pulled into the hotel at 3am. Before struggling up to our rooms, we were told we had a bus tour of the city at 9am the next day.

I skipped it and slept in.


twenty degrees and the hockey game's on

It is blizzarding. WTF, NYC. A gentle flurry in October is allowable, but not this much snow. Especially not when it's also cold. I am now separated by the cold from my electric blanket and down comforter and am not at all looking forward to the trip home.

This would have been an excellent day to skip class, especially as I have the last branch meeting and so I'll be here forever.

I also finally took my aching wrist to a clinic. I have a brace and anti-inflamatories and a referral to a specialist if it doesn't fix itself soon. Typing is awkward and slow, which probably means I should type less. BUT I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS and also assignments.

Lj idol 1 - When you pray, move your feet.

I stopped wanting to be a ballerina when I was 11.

Oh, if you ask the place where I took lessons for four years, they'd say my not-especially-promising career ended one day in spring, months later, when I told a classmate that no one actually cared how deep she could plié. Soon battle lines were drawn, mothers were called, and I was eventually told that maybe, ballet class was not for me.

But I already knew that. I knew it in the winter, from our first Nutcracker performance. I'd been promoted from toy soldier to rat that year, but the honor meant little to me. I was just biding my time - performance after performance, year after year, with dreary months of plié practice in between - until I could go en pointe and be a snowflake.

The snowflakes were beautiful. They had a grace and glamour my soldiers and mice somehow lacked, and they moved with an effortlessness that I feared I would never be able to replicate. Still, I couldn't wait to try. I knew it would all be worth it - the years of being scolded about my turnout, the bobby pins which dug into my head, the pretending to care about the other girls' plié skills. None of it would matter when I was a snowflake, twirling and leaping like a force of nature, in my beautiful dress and ribboned shoes.

I don't know why I saw it the last year, when I never had before. Maybe my new role let me be backstage at the right time, maybe I just finally started paying attention. I just know that was the first year I actually watched the snowflakes as they came offstage. And they weren't twirling, or graceful, or beautiful. They slumped. Their smiles dropped. They limped, and cursed, and couldn't cry because it would smudge their makeup. They made sure none of their blisters had bled through the ribbons on their shoes, because the first rule of being a snowflake is to never let the audience know you're bleeding for them.

And then they straightened up, and smiled, and went on again for Act II. I don't know what kind of dedication and courage that takes. I just know, as I knew then, that I don't have it.

The physical limits aren't a problem. Ten years after my ill-fated ballet career I started rowing marathons. Our best times were an hour longer then a full-length Nutcracker performance, with no intermissions or scene changes. I learned to worry when my blisters broke and my hands bled only because it made gripping the oar harder.

But I didn't do it for an audience. I did it for the other people in my boat, and for myself. Because when we were done, after we'd de-rigged our boat and collapsed, I could hold up my hands and show them to anyone who asked how I'd done. It wasn't the kind of grace and beauty I'd once admired, but I never had to hide my effort or pretend I wasn't in pain.

I admire the snowflakes more, now, because I know they bleed. But I won't dance for anyone who wants me to pretend it's easy.


ljidol and ice cream

First! I am officially participating in therealljidol for the third year. Go me!

Next: A long overdue ice cream review - Ferris Acres.

Some of you may remember, months ago, I decided it would be a good idea to visit every independent ice cream shop in Connecticut. Why? Because they're there. The project turned out to be more complicated then I expected - mostly because I had to find out what these places were. I couldn't find a comprehensive list of places that made their own ice cream, so I had to assemble my own. The main problem was narrowing things down, as a lot of places who advertised 'home made!' ice cream actually meant that it was home made by someone else.

The semi-final list is at 50 - but I'm sure I'll stumble over more. I also have a google map with the locations. I've visited 27 so far. Ice cream season is ending - they're starting to close, and I am distracted by fall things like donuts and pie. But I'll try to hit the rest of the year-round ones this winter, so I can finish up in the spring.

hobart, elkhart, maumee, cuyahoga

I drove to Chicago. And back. Since Saturday night. 2,100 miles, 7 states, way too many tollbooths (which are strange and foreign to any CT driver. How does the rest of the country put up with them?) 2 campus tours, and some very pretty leaves. I never want to see the Ohio turnpike again. You are on my list, Ohio turnpike.

I have acquired a severe limp and need to sleep for a week. But I also brought back fudge. That makes all things tolerable.
It's really interesting seeing the internet go into mourning for Steve Jobs. So often the people whose innovations change our lifestyle are behind the scenes. They're part of corporate research groups, they publish papers that nobody pays attention to, they invent lifesaving breakthroughs that no one knows about. (Dean Kamen invented the first portable drug infusion pump, which has allowed millions of people who would otherwise need full-time medical care to have completely independent lives. But to 99% of the people who have heard of him, he's the slightly wacky guy who makes Segways.)

But I can't really think of any recent person who has such an obvious, visible effect in their lifetime. It's not how many people use apple products - it's that everyone knows they're using them. And they do it publicly! In business meetings and coffeeshops and while waiting to cross the street. That's a pretty big mark to leave on the world.

In more personal news: I am behind on schoolwork already, I have managed to give myself pretty serious anemia, and I am driving to Chicago and back this weekend because I finally decided the only way my sister's college application process was going to be done right was if I took it over. Between the years I spent looking at and applying to colleges myself, and now Em, and then Casie, and by the time she's settled I might be going back again . . all I can say is, if I ever have kids, they're on their own. Sorry, hypothetical future children.
I keep having so many things to post about, and then I am like 'oh, wait, I need to post about this other thing first!' and then I post about nothing. Now I can't remember what the last entry I half-wrote was about, but I am worried that livejournal will think I've abandoned it.

I feel like the past month or so has been going by way too fast. What happened to summer? This is like when I'm watching Hulu, and then I put mute on for a second and look at another browser and then suddenly I remember I am watching something so I look back and the episode has ended already. But with actual life and no mute option. I am kind of behind on Getting Stuff Accomplished, but I have been doing fun things, so I am not too upset about this. Today, for example, I was going to finish the 30 pages of re-typing I need to do before I can start updating this disaster plan thing we are working on. Instead I spent 4 hours at writing group, got ice cream, and watched My Little Pony.

I love that show. I did not expect to, because I liked the original MLP movies so much when I was tiny (I can still sing the entire 'Call upon the sea ponies' song!) that I am ridiculously nostalgic about them even though I know they aren't, actually, good. MLP:FiM is, actually. . . good.

I need sleep, so this is enough updating. For now
No, really. I have to shop for new clothes that aren't jeans or t-shirts this week, and I'm awful at it. Any suggestions?

Also - my grandmother got her power back yesterday! Sooner then expected, even, though it's kind of sad that over a week was sooner then expected. Now, hopefully, I can go back to thinking about other people's disasters instead of mine.

And my most recent ice cream review is here.
Most of the state seems to have been restored in the last few days, so I am hoping my apartment has gotten fixed since I checked on Friday. Meanwhile, the northeast part of the state is still in bad shape and they are telling my grandmother now that she might get power back Wednesday. Might.

I have been at teaberryblue's home for displaced Jesses. I got to go to her lunch group and writing time in the city and feed the chickens in Connecticut, and then today we visited an animal shelter and I played with the kitties. One cat got picked up by his new family while we were there, and it was just about the happiest thing in the world. I want there to be a reality tv show where every week we see a shelter animal get matched with a home. It's so much better then watching people get new houses or trips to Disney.

I do feel like my normal life and routine has been put on hold but that isn't entirely bad. I suppose I have to go back to doing productive things soon, though, because classes start this week. This semester seems a bit Homeland Security heavy, looking at my class descriptions, but we'll see how it goes.

So I got this idea from zeitgeistic, but I am just thinking of it as monthly resolutions. Because a month seems like a good amount of time to concentrate on a habit. For September, I am trying to:

ThingsCollapse )

the apocalypse will be blogged

I'm in a library of people sitting on the floor, gathering around the surge protectors as we charge all our electronics. This section of Main St, which includes the official town buildings as well as a few business, apparently Is on an emergency circuit. A+ planning there, Willimantic! Actually, from what I can find of the news, considering the range of the potential destruction and even though the situation in Vermont is worrying, preparations for the hurricane were very effective. The fact that people are already using this a an excuse for why the preparations weren't actually necessary is filling me with way too much rage to deal with in limited internet time.

Sunday was strange. Everyone was on the streets, picking their way carefully around downed branches and wires, and making sure the neighborhood was still there. It felt like we were cut off from the rest of the world. The families and older folks just seemed to be out to see what happened, but I also ran across a few small groups of people my age, with our cameras and video phones, exchanging notes and tracking down reports of where we'd seen a car crushed or the radio had reported a road closed. Sometimes, I can't decide if my generation is really cool or kind of weird.

People keep wandering in and explaining to the patient librarians that they need to get online to find out when the outage will be over – but all anyone official knows is that pretty much the entire region is out - most of the smaller towns near us are still at 100% - and they can't promise that will change before the end of the week. Ana and I have had a fairly pleasant time, all things considered. We've had wine and hamburgers and played card games by flashlight. But now we've had to get rid of all the perishables, so we're down to sandwiches and canned soup – or waiting in line for Dairy Queen, still open on Main St.

This is a few pictures I took of what my neighborhood looks like.

Meanwhile, I used the enforced inactivity to finally knuckle down on my ten-years-delayed rereading of the first three Song of Ice and Fire books, so I can get on to the new one. It took me over 500 pages to actually remember why I'd liked the series once, which I think is half because my trust in the writer is gone and half because I'm anticipating horrible things happening to the characters so I can't get attached. I'm on CoK and it's going better now, especially since by the end of GoT I just gave up and skipped Catelyn's chapters. I remembered not being fond, but I'm kind of surprised by how much I dislike her. This time around I couldn't find a single redeeming characteristic or scene where she was likable and the smugness in her pov annoyed the heck out of me. Cersi, on the other hand, I somehow like a lot more then I remembered. I'm going to be really embarrassed if I end up routing for all the bad guys. I never do that.

Well. Back to the battery-lanterns and card games.
Fine here. Lines down, power out, trees across road, and annoyed at world, but fine.

time to close the shutters

For the record, I am safely inland and my grandmother has enough food and supplies to last at least a month. (You think that's an exaggeration only because you haven't seen her basement.) I am sort of jealous of my classmates who are shadowing in NY emergency operations centers, but even if I lived there I wouldn't have stayed unless I had a necessary job. Choke-points in evacuation routes make me nervous, and I'd rather Ana not be alone. We'll be fine here, though her street has bad luck with losing power, so I might be offline for a while.

I was going to make a post yesterday on hurricane preparation tips but really, it's all a re-hash of the same things everyone knows they're supposed to do anyway but doesn't pay attention to with an extra bonus of "please don't try to drive anywhere, no, not then, no, not then either, no, for the love of all things holy, put down the car keys." And if people don't listen to the basic information when it's presented over and over in every format that billions of dollars in public awareness budgets can think of - hell, the CDC even dressed it up with zombies - they aren't going to get anything out of an lj post.

Get A Kit,    Make A Plan, Be Prepared. emergency.cdc.gov

. . . I still can't top that.

Anyway. We're two days before the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I bring that up not because the events invite comparison (and please, TV people who keep bringing up how Katrina 'taught us how dangerous hurricanes can be!' stop, because you look like idiots,) but because I'm sure it will be overshadowed by the Irene this year. Also, in a strange. . . I don't even know what the word is, but it's interesting - this is the year the days of the week for dates line up with 2005, i.e, this is Saturday the 27th again. So on the 2005 timeline, we're two hours past when SE Louisiana was put under a hurricane watch, but almost a day before the evacuation was ordered.
So tired. Can't brain. I am not actually done with the semester, because I still need to finish a paper on public mental health during 19th century yellow fever epidemics and then there's something for my online class, but I am done with school-time. Part of me is worried my paper is not actually as awesome as I think it is, but most of me thinks how could it not be awesome, there were bodies stacked like cordwood, and I am not sure if I should step away from the plague journals until I sleep some or just keep typing and see what happens.

Oh! I keep wanting to post this: On New Orleans' Freret Street, the birth of a new restaurant row. That's my old street, and I love to see it doing well. I lived there a little over two years, and it went from being a stretch of street with hopeful hints of construction but almost every business closed, to an active, living neighborhood full of "Opening Soon" signs.

Also oh! Another ice cream shop visited.

And this is nearly a hundred pictures of ice cream. I maybe have to much fun fake-artistically cropping cones.
Devouring New England

Connecticut Ice Cream Masterlist

Fairfield County/Litchfield County

Dr. Mike's Ice Cream Shop 444 Main Street, Monroe 203-792-4388 Year round
Gofer Ice Cream 1014 Post Road Darien, CT link Year round (also Greenwich, Stamford)
Ferris Acres Creamery 144 Sugar Street ( Rt 302) Newtown, CT link April-October
Ridgefield Ice Cream Shop 680 Danbury Rd. Ridgefield, CT</b> 203-438-3094
The Ice Cream Shoppe 59 Bridgeport Ave. Shelton, CT link Year round
Peaches N' Cream 632 Torrington Rd. Litchfield, CT 860-496-7536
Swirl Redding link Serves Buck's. Year round
Stony Hill 23 Stony Hill Road Bethel link Year round

Hartford County

Ice Cream Churn 45 N. Main St. Bristol link
Collins Creamery 9 Powder Hill Road Enfield link Year round, limited flavors in winter.
Robb's farm 91 Wassuc Road Glastonbury link Year round
Shady Glen 840 East Middle Turnpike Manchester Year round
Tullmeadow Farm 255 Farms Village Road Simsbury April-October
J Foster 4 Bailey Road Avon link Year round
Faddy's no permanent location link
Fish Family Farm 20 Dimock Lane Bolton link </a>,/B.Year round, scoops only in summer.

New Haven County

Nonnie's Deli and Billy's Ice Cream 742 Amity Rd. Bethany, CT 203-393-3294 Year round

Ashley's Ice Cream 1018 Main St. Branford, CT link
Sweet Claude’s, 828 South Main Street Cheshire link
Kelly's Kone Connection 2538 Whitney Ave. Hamden, CT link Year round
Wentworth Homemade Ice Cream 3697 Whitney Ave. Hamden, CT 203-281-7429
Walnut Beach Creamery Milford link Spring-October
Jennifer's Ice Cream 388 Main St. East Haven, CT link Year round
Rich's Farm 691 Oxford Road Oxford, CT link Year round
Praline's 1122 North Colony Rd Wallingford, CT link Year round
Dippy's Ice Cream & Cakes 663 Lakewood Rd. Waterbury, CT link</b> Year round
Northford Coffee & Ice Cream 1405 Middletown Ave Northford link Year round
Timothy's Ice Cream Bridgeport
Durham Dari 4 Main St. Durham link

New London County/Middlesex

Buttonwood Farm Ice Cream 473 Shetucket Tpke - Route #165 Griswold, Ct link March-October
Cows and Cones 39 Military Highway Gales Ferry, CT link Spring-October CLOSED FOR SEASON
Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Drawbridge - Mystic, CT
Hallmark, Route 156 Old Lyme
Ice Cream Shopp 34 Lyme Street Old Lyme link
The James Gallery and Soda Fountain 325 Main Street Old Saybrook link Year Round
Salem Valley Farm 20 Darling Road Salem link April-Halloween, only Thurs-Sun in April & Oct.
Wildowsky Dairy 20 Nygren Road Lisbon link
Michael's Dairy 629 Montauk Avenue New London link
Daniel's Dairy Downtown 60 Bank St New London link Year Round
Mortensen Ice Cream 27 Shunpike Rd. Cromwell, CT 860-632-1094
Mystic Sweets and Ice Cream Shop 7 West Main St. Groton, CT 860-536-1616

Windham/Tolland County

Concrete Ice Cream, Ashford link April-Christmas
UCONN Dairy Bar 3636 Horsebarn Road Ext. Storrs CT 860-486-2634
We-Li-Kit Ice Cream Route 97 Abington, CT 860-974-1095 April-Oct. link
Ra Ra's Ice Cream Parlor 69 Prospect St. Moosup link
Bush Meadow Farm 738 Buckley Hwy Union link Year round, Sat/Sun 7-4
Brown Cow Cafe at Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm, Sterling link Year round, Fri-Mon only from Jan-March
Quiet Corner Creamery at Riverview Landscape Supply, 147 Kennedy Rd Putnam link April-September, closed Sunday
The Creamery at Fort Hill Farm Thompson link - one of the Farmer's Cow ice cream farms. April-November
Columbia Creamery 187 Rt 66 East Columbia link Spring-October

Outside CT:
SoCo Creamery
Peaceful Meadows

Places of note that do not make their own ice cream:

Main St Creamery Wethersfield, CT - serves Praline's.
Dip-Top Orange, CT - soft serve with flavor shells
Sea Swirl Seafood & Ice Cream Mystic, CT link - ice cream is made in RI.

Assorted things in need of further investigation:
Double Twister Ice Cream - Danbury area soft-serve chain
Sweet Williams Bakery in Salisbury - bakery with ice cream sandwiches
Denmo's Snack & Dairy Bar Southbury, CT - lobster rolls, shrimp, soft serve
Deary Bros. Mike’s Stand Putnam
Micalizzi Italian Ice, Bridgeport, CT
Louie G - italian ice and ice cream franchise, founded in CT link
Hillside Sweet House East Haddam, CT
Creamery Brook Bison Farm, Brooklyn
Essex Coffee and Tea - desserts. link
Claudia's Voluntown

The shootings took place on Sept. 4, 2005, a week after Hurricane Katrina. After hearing a distress call over the radio from another officer who said men were shooting at police on the nearby Interstate 10 bridge, a group of cops piled into a Budget rental truck and headed to the Danziger Bridge, the portion of Chef Menteur Highway that spans the Industrial Canal.
Officer Michael Hunter, who drove the truck, fired warning shots out the window as the truck neared the bridge. He stopped the truck behind the Bartholomew family, near the bridge's eastern terminus. Police piled out and began shooting, eventually killing one member of the party -- James Brissette, 17 -- and wounding four others: Jose Holmes, 19; his aunt, Susan Bartholomew, his uncle, Leonard Bartholomew III, and a teenage cousin, Lesha Bartholomew.

Police then chased down Ronald and Lance Madison, who had been walking toward the Gentilly side of the bridge, a ways ahead of the Bartholomew family. Hearing the gunfire, the Madisons began to run. Ronald Madison, 40, was injured. Eventually, Faulcon killed him with a shotgun blast to the back as he ran away.
Lance Madison, who was unhurt, was arrested and accused of firing a weapon at police.
. . .
At trial, the three officers told jurors that after the shooting ended, they saw no evidence that the civilians, many of them grievously wounded, had been armed.


            I wish I could be relieved that someone is finally being held accountable, but it just feels like too little and too late. This isn't an average, 'Police think unarmed civilian has a gun and shoot him' story. This was nine officers, with shotguns and at least one AK-47, firing at a group of people for over a minute. The survivors were all horrifically injured. And then they and the two people who died -- a 17-year-old and a man who was severely mentally handicapped -- were presented as dangerous, aggressive criminals who were out to kill cops. The official statements from the NOPD had a detailed and completely disproved by autopsy results story about how the 'unknown gunmen' were killed in an extended shootout with police officers. It was almost a year until Brissette's family found out how he died. Lance Madison, whose brother was killed, was arrested on the bridge for attempted murder, and spent weeks in jail.

           And everyone knew this. The autopsy results were out by May 2006, by a couple months later NPR was covering the story pretty thoroughly, and even before that the families tried to speak out. And the overall impression for almost six years was that no one cared. That it didn't matter how blatant the lies were, and it didn't matter what really happened. I'm glad the FBI stepped in, and I'm glad there is finally closure, but I can't feel like this is justice. Because the entire story just proves how they almost got away with it.
Oh, friendslist. I have missed you so much! Please don't leave me like that again.

I had about elevendy things to post and I can't remember what most of them are now, though. Oh, here's a thing: I started my exploration of ice cream places that I talked about. Here is my review of the UCONN Dairy Bar at nommable, Tea's newish food blog.

I need to find a new place to hang out now that borders is closing. They lost the last of my goodwill when they took four days to put anything on their webpage or let the stores put up signs about the fact that they're going completely out of business, but my local store was a comfortable place to go and work.

The most exciting part of last week was going to Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, which I have wanted to do since about forever. Me and my sister Em (who is back from Alaska and sporting a brand-new collarbone piercing) went up on Sunday, and got settled in just in time for Tracy Grammer's main stage concert. It's been almost eight years since I first heard a Dave Carter song, and it was introduced with a remark about it being the first anniversary of his death. I think knowing that each new song I listened to was one of a finite set made me treat them differently, and all the times I've seen Tracy perform have been a bit bittersweet.

Of the people I hadn't heard of, my favorite was Spuyten Duyvil, who did an awesome Shady Grove and a Freight Train/Lois Collins mashup. By the end of the day we got over-heated and over-sunned, and spent far too much money on food, but it was worth it. And I got a skirt! Which is a big deal for me because I have trouble wearing anything that is not jeans but I've decided I need to work on that.

I think that is enough things. More later if lj still exists. Maybe after I graduate I could get them to let me work on their continuity planning?


Jessica Ariel

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February 2013


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