Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday morning UMass construction updates and more

I've been away from work for a couple of weeks, and just came back yesterday. Of course the construction has been progressing without me. Here's a few pictures of UMass from earlier this morning. When I left I recall that one stack had come down, and there were two still standing. Looks like one came down while I was gone.

 And then there is this, which keeps changing colors...

And finally just because it's pretty, a picture of sunrise--


Saturday, August 25, 2012

vacation- Quechee & writing (or not writing)

I am on vacation from work. Spending a lot of time with my daughter and husband. Mostly my daughter. The 3 of us did do a quick trip to Vermont, and crossed over to New Hampshire in the process. It was only about a 72 hour trip but we had fun. Meanwhile I have been very distracted from my writing and this is bothering me a bit. I am out of touch with my characters and I need to reconnect. In particular I know I have been avoiding my main story line. I know what the main plot is SUPPOSED to be but I've been distracted by other things like the name of the town and lesser characters etc. It's funny how I've got the story set up but the main plot is the thing I've been avoiding the most and have written the least about. I'm not sure why it is. I have spent lots of energy and time on the smaller details and have been avoiding the big thing that is supposed to be the center of it all.

That isn't to say my family isn't important. It is of course. Our trip to Quechee was a fun one. Two nights of camping, all of us not feeling quite 100% healthy but we visited the local restaurants and attractions and enjoyed a few hours at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science-  and learned something about birds. I liked the Quechee State Park, especially since we had a lean-to in the  back. Not sure I would have liked it so much if we had stayed closer to the highway. It's our only trip to a Vermont State Park this year and I'm glad it was a good one.  Check out www.vtstateparks.c
We were on our way back home and I just happen...
We were on our way back home and I just happened to see this gorge from a bridge, so we stopped to have a look. See where this picture was taken. [?] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
om for more fun vacation ideas.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Melissa Etheridge" by Joyce Luck

This might not be a bad book but it's outdated. It is a biography that was written a few years before Melissa Etheridge wrote her own autobiography. Since I read the autobiography first I already know Melissa's side of things, and I can see where Joyce is misinformed. It's not her fault really. She didn't have all of Melissa's insights to use when she wrote the book. It is interesting to read other people's perspectives about Melissa's life, but it's not as accurate as reading it from the source herself.

I got this book through inter-library loan and I'm sending it back without finishing it because I have a long reading list, and I don't think I'm going to gain much by reading this version of Melissa's life. Melissa's autobiography was very good, very personal, and this biography just can't measure up in comparison.

Product DetailsConnect to this book on Amazon

Friday, August 17, 2012

More construction pictures at Umass

My husband told me that no one cares about this stuff. I hope he is wrong. I hope someone with a better camera than mine is out there taking pictures too. In the meantime the new dorms continue to be built, and as of the last couple of days the smokestacks from the old physical plant are coming down. Here's a few pictures that I took in the last couple of days.

Thursday afternoon as I was leaving work at 3pm.

Thursday afternoon

I think this is Thursday still, note the crane

Thursday afternoon

Friday morning

Friday morning

Friday morning, can you see how the top of this one is so broken?

Friday morning, the metal stack is completely out of sight.

Friday morning, another view of the 2 remaining brick stacks

An update on the dorms. They are changing from purple to green and the windows are all covered in blue plastic.   

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Truth is... I finished the book

Ah... what a great book. I don't say that often, but I really liked this one.

Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just finished Melissa Etheridge's autobiography

The Truth Is... My Life in Love and Music

and it was very personal and very detailed. She did not set herself up to be a hero. She was honest. She shared her childhood and what it was like growing up in Levenworth, Kansas. She talked about her brief stint in college in Boston, MA, and she went on with her career and the women's festivals and her writing and her lovers, and her lovers, and her ten year relationship with Julie Cypher and... well it was written ten years ago so it ends around there. She and Julie split up and are sharing custody of the two kids. I'd have to check some more current material to understand where it all is now. Hearing the stories behind her songs was wonderful. It gave me new appreciation for where she was coming from and what she was going through, and now I feel like I can hear those songs with new ears, a new understanding.

Of course I have some questions too. Questions that have probably been asked a hundred times, and maybe she answered them somewhere and maybe she didn't. Questions that I have no right to ask even, but I will let that go. I've been a fan of hers since the 90s and had no idea she started out when was 13 years old in Kansas playing as "Missy Etheridge". It was sheer joy to read this book and I had trouble putting it down long after the alarm clock told me it was time to close my eyes. It was a quick read for me because I enjoyed it so much. I only wish there was a sequel. Haha. Well I will have to dig up the fan sites and search the webs to learn more about her. Obviously she has millions of fans and I am just a speck of dust in the world, but it was a good read.

Thank you Melissa for writing it.

The Truth Is... My Life in Love and Musicimage from Amazon.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, August 13, 2012

Melissa Etheridge's autobiography

I just started reading Melissa Etheridge's autobiography and I got about 1/3 of the way through the book before I had to close my eyes for the night. I like it. It is so much more personal and honest than that Mark Bego book about Bonnie Raitt that I tried to read. It talks about her childhood, her relationship with her sister, her mother, her father, her early touring days when she was only 10-17 years old... so far so good! I have another book about her on the way through Interlibrary Loan too. I don't know if it will be too much all at once, but it's an interesting read so far. So glad I thought to look it up.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quick Book comment "Just in the Nick of Time" by Mark Bego

A biography about Bonnie Raitt. I approached this book with a little caution. Mark Bego has written 20 or 30 books about musicians. In the beginning of the book he lets the readers know that this book is not an authorized biography. Rather it was something he was asked to do by the publishers. I looked at the table of contents and it reads like a discography. Another bad sign. After reading some pages into it I am giving it back to the library. There are pages and pages that read more like a review of her albums than read anything personal. He didn't have much personal material to use since she wasn't talking to him so he had to pull at what he could find in other places. It shows. I've lost interest. I was hoping for better things but halfway through the book I'm done. I know he's written a sequel too, but most libraries don't have it. I wonder if maybe he talked to her for that one, or if he was just trying to capitalize on the first, in any case I'm done. Still a fan of her music, just not a fan of his writing.  Moving onward and putting in a couple of requests for books by and about Melissa Etheridge instead.
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  Musician Bonni...
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Musician Bonnie Raitt arrives at the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute To Paul McCartney held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Bonnie_altered (Photo credit: Boz Bros)
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, August 2, 2012

More pictures from Umass

Just after sunrise this morning, 6:50am. I posted these on one of my other blogs too. The building on the right is the Umass library, and the building on the left is Thompson.

And then here's something to think about. This building below is slowly being demolished from the inside out. There is asbestos, mercury, and god knows what else in there. It's the original physical plant, located just outside of the campus garage, but I think it's been there longer than the garage. I don't know. Anyway since there is a lot going on, and it seems hard to believe that these chimneys or smokestacks or whatever you call them will soon be part of history. The building in front isn't going anywhere that I know of. It's the building in back that is being taken down. I don't know if you can see it but there is white plastic over the windows. They try to keep the place sealed up as much as they can.